Judge Overturns White Supremacist's Conviction

Judge Lynn Adelman says William White's Internet posts were protected by the First Amendment

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 11:22 PM CDT
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A federal judge has ruled that a Chicago jury was wrong when it convicted a white supremacist of using his website to solicit violence, saying the posts were First Amendment protected.

"The First Amendment protects vehement, scathing and even offensive criticism of others, including individuals involved in the criminal justice system," Judge Lynn Adelman wrote.

Tuesday's decision means William White of Virginia may be released from prison.

In 2008, White published a juror's personal information on his website, which regularly attacked nonwhites, Jews and homosexuals. He was foreman of a jury that convicted another supremacist, Matthew Hale, of soliciting a judge's murder.

White was convicted of solicitation in January.

Adelman reversed the conviction and denied U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's order to stay the proceedings.

White's attorney Nishay Sanan said the First Amendment has been upheld.

Sanan and prison officials didn't know when White would be released. Calls to Chicago's Metropolitan Correctional Center went unanswered.

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