Fed Judge Tosses Conviction of White Supremacist Who Posted Info About Jury Foreman
The message is clear: Even hatemongers have Constitutional rights.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a federal judge has tossed out the conviction in Chicago of white supremacist William White who posted personal information on his website about a jury foreman who helped convict a fellow white supremacist in 2004. A jury found White had used the website to solicit an attack on the foreman.
U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman of Milwaukee, who had been assigned to the trial because of local conflicts of interest, wrote in a ruling that prosecutors failed to prove during trial — even though the jury convicted after three hours of deliberation — that supremacist White’s postings on overthrow.com showed he wanted the foreman harmed, the Tribune reported.
She wrote that the posting was protected by the First Amendment.
“The First Amendment protects vehement, scathing and even offensive criticism of others, including individuals involved in the criminal justice system,” Adelman wrote, according to the Tribune. “Knowledge, suspicion or even hope that something might happen to Hoffman is not enough.”
Prosecutors charged that White had posted info in 2008 on his website about jury foreman Mark Hoffman, saying he was the “gay Jewish anti-racist” juror who had helped convict Matthew Hale for the solicitation of the murder of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow, the Trib reported. White also included info about Hoffman including a color photo, home address, phone numbers and his cats name (Hoffman is not Jewish).
Prosecutors during trial pointed out that in 2005, White on his website called for the “assassination” of anyone involved in the Hale trial, the Trib reported.
White’s attorneys argued their client never directly solicited an attack on Hoffman, the Trib reported.
The Tribune reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago is considering an appeal.
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