NORTH BERGEN -- Hal Turner, 47, of North Bergen, a controversial radio host, got a break Monday after the majority of a jury decided the government's case against him was weak. He had been charged earlier this year with threatening harm to three federal judges, in statements made during his show.
The New York Times says:
A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the case against a New Jersey blogger accused of making death threats against three federal judges in Chicago because they wrote a ruling supporting gun control.
The mistrial came after the jury sent two notes -- one during its first day of deliberation on Friday and another on Monday -- saying it was hopelessly deadlocked over charges Hal Turner threatened to kill or assault a federal judge. A retrial was scheduled for March 1 in Brooklyn, where the case was moved based on a change-of-venue request.
Prosecutors had argued that Turner knew his Internet tirade, which insisted the judges ''must die,'' could provoke violence by members of his radical audience.
The defense likened Turner to a ''shock jock'' and argued he was expressing an opinion protected by the First Amendment.
The only juror to speak to reporters afterward, truck driver Richard Gardiner, said the jury voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal, with the majority seeing the government's case as weak. He said he held out for a conviction because he ''did think it was a threat.''
Turner, 47, of North Bergen, N.J., left the courthouse without commenting.