Blogger: Prosecution is Assault on 1st Amendment

A blogger from New Jersey, serving a prison sentence for making death threats against federal judges in Illinois, says prosecution against him in Connecticut is an assault on his First Amendment rights.

Harold "Hal" Turner faces charges in the state for allegedly threatening Connecticut lawmakers. 

Here's what happened. In 2009, Turner, a North Bergen, N.J. resident, was arrested, accused of urging his blog readers to "take up arms" against Sen. Andrew McDonald and Rep. Michael Lawlor and suggested that government officials "obey the constitution or die." The post was in response to legislation on Catholic Church finances that later failed. 

During a pre-trial hearing, Turner said he's being prosecuted because he made negative comments about gay people according to a report in the Hartford Courant.  

Turner said he's being "sacrificed at the altar of political correctness." Turner, who is representing himself, tried to have the charges against him dismissed and to forbid the prosecutor from using words like white supremacist, racist and other references to his writings.

The prosecutor, Thomas Garcia, said he wants to present jurors excerpts from a letter Turner wrote that included anti-gay terms. 

The judge in the case is expected to rule on that on Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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