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A Jury of His Peers: Blogger - Hate Activist's Case Moved to Brooklyn

By Joel Zand on September 09, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Imagine that you're a judge who was threatened by a litigant in one of your cases.  Faster than you could hit your gavel to the bench, I'm guessing that you'd pick up the phone and call some law enforcement folks to investigate things.

But if the person who threatened you, or your judicial colleagues, was prosecuted in your court, do you think they would get a fair trial?

A federal judge in Chicago doesn't think so.

That's why he sent the feds' prosecution of a New Jersey blogger who wrote that three federal appeals court judges "deserve to be killed" to another jurisdiction. Guess what? The judges who were threatened sit in U.S. District Judge Donald Walter's own legal backyard: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Defendant Hal Turner is an avowed White Supremacist well known for his anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant views.

It's an interesting twist that Judge Walter sent Turner's case to federal court in Brooklyn, NY (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York).  Brooklyn is an American melting-pot of immigrants from around the world, an amalgam of different religions, races, nationalities, and ethnic groups. 

In short, a Brooklyn jury of Turner's peers would represent the very essence of cultural diversity and tolerance that Turner opposes.



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