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Prosecutor: Third Trial for Hal Turner, the Blogger Accused of Judge Threats, Is Highly Likely

Posted Mar 11, 2010 8:58 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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For a second time, jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a blogger accused of threatening three federal appeals judges for their ruling in a gun rights case.

Blogger Harold Turner, aka Hal, was charged after he wrote that Judges Richard Posner, William Bauer and Frank Easterbrook “deserved to be killed” and “must die” for their ruling, according to the Associated Press and the New York Law Journal. Turner also published work addresses and photos of the judges.

"If they are allowed to get away with this by surviving, other judges will act the same way," Turner wrote.

U.S. District Judge Donald Walter, sitting by designation in New York, declared a mistrial after he received a third note from jurors saying they were deadlocked. They had been deliberating since Monday afternoon.

All three judges testified in the second trial, after a juror in the first trial told reporters there wasn’t enough evidence to convict. Turner’s lawyers had argued his statements were only political hyperbole, according to the New York Law Journal.

Asked whether there would be a third trial, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Hogan replied, "We're going to review it. I'd say it's highly likely."

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