Hal Turner convicted for threatening judges


A right-wing Internet talk show host was convicted on Friday by a federal jury in Brooklyn of threatening three federal judges who had issued a ruling he disagreed with. Two previous prosecutions of the host, Harold (Hal) Turner, ended in mistrials after jurors were unable to agree on a verdict, but the decision Friday came after less than two hours of deliberation, reported The NY Times.

Turner, 48, posted inflammatory Internet messages about the three appeals court judges who had upheld a ban of handguns in Chicago. He was charged with a single count of threatening to assault or kill the judges with the intent of impeding their official duties.

In a June 2009 posting about their unanimous decision to uphold the gun ban, which the Supreme Court overturned in June, Turner wrote, “If they are allowed to get away with this by surviving, other judges will act the same way.”

Turner, who lives in North Bergen, N.J., also wrote a blog entry accompanied by photos of the judges in which he said they “deserve to be killed.”

Identifying himself as “Hal from North Bergen”, Turner became notable in conservative circles as a frequent caller to and supporter of WABC NY’s talkers  Bob Grant and Sean Hannity. Turner parlayed this fame into a role as the northern New Jersey coordinator for Patrick Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign. Turner became a talk host, joining fellow regular callers Frank from Queens and John from Staten Island to “The Right Perspective.” He left the show  in 2002 and became a solo host, purchasing a slot on shortwave WBCQ until 2004. He since had an internet program.

Turner faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.