Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Victory!!! Federal Charge Of Incitement Against National Socialist Activist Bill White In Chicago In Limbo, Although Roanoke Charges Still Pending
The ability of the Federal government to railroad dissidents continues to erode, and took a major hit on July 21st, 2009, when U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that Bill White's speech on the Internet is protected by the First Amendment. Primary story published in the Roanoke Times; an additional story, which erroneously refers to White as the leader of the National Socialist Movement, has been posted by WSET Channel 13. Another story, with video, has been posted by WDBJ Channel 7.
White, who is still technically the Commander of the now-defunct American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP), had been charged with posting the name, address and telephone number of the Jewish foreman of a Chicago jury that convicted Matt Hale in 2004. Although the post made no direct threats against the man, federal prosecutors had argued that White made the information known with the hope that it would encourage readers of his now-defunct website, Overthrow.com, to threaten or harm the juror.
White broke no laws in obtaining the juror’s personal information, Adelman wrote in a 35-page opinion, "and an intimidating context alone does not remove the protection of the First Amendment." Judge Adelman was the replacement picked when Bill White's legal team asked that previous Judge William Hibbler, who is black, be recused on the basis that no Chicago-based judge could possibly be unbiased.
White’s attorney, Chris Shepherd of Chicago, said of the ruling: "The First Amendment is at its best when it protects unpopular speech. If the First Amendment only protected us from expressing opinions that everyone agrees with, it would become useless, because that type of speech needs no protection."
Federal prosecutors were too busy licking their wounds to comment to the media. But they did file a motion to stay, so Bill White will remain in jail for the time being. Attorney Chris Sheppard hopes a bond hearing will be granted once that motion is decided.
Unfortunately, Bill White is not completely off the hook. He still faces additional Federal charges filed in Roanoke in December 2008 of using his website to make threats against a half-dozen or so targets, including the so-called "civil rights attorney" Richard Warman in Canada, the nationally syndicated black newspaper columnist Leonard "Cry Me A River" Pitts, and a small-town black mayor in New Jersey. Specifically, he was charged with five counts of communicating threats in interstate commerce, one count of communicating an extortionate threat in interstate commerce, and one count of witness intimidation. He is accused of "targeting" individuals with whom he disagreed from 2006 to 2008 for racial reasons. The 19-page indictment can be read HERE.
If found guilty of communicating threats in interstate commerce, White could face a maximum punishment of five years in prison for each count of the indictment. If found guilty of communicating extortionate threats in interstate commerce, White could face a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison. If found guilty of witness intimidation, White faces a maximum punishment of ten years in prison. Each of the aforementioned charges also entails a potential fine of up to $250,000.
Nevertheless, the "good guys" won a partial victory today, and one person who should be celebrating the most is Hal Turner, railroaded on similar charges. Turner's lawyer should try to get the case placed before Judge Adelman, if possible. In any event, Judge Adelman's decision could be cited as a precedent to get the Federal charges against Turner dismissed outright (all of this written before Turner disclosed his full relationship with the Feds).
So Bill White's legal struggle continues. If you want to help, visit the following website for instructions: