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Trial begins in true threats suit, hung jury in another

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  1. Libel and Privacy
There were developments this week in two "true threats" trials against Internet agitators who have been charged with inciting illegal…

There were developments this week in two "true threats" trials against Internet agitators who have been charged with inciting illegal actions on their blogs.

There was a mistrial in the case of Howard C. Turner after a hung jury failed to acquit or convict the Internet broadcaster, who said three Chicago judges "deserved to be killed" for supporting a handgun ban, The New York Times reported.

In Virginia, the trial of William A. White began. White was charged with making online threats after harrassing a newspaper columnist by making racist remarks via phone and e-mail message before publishing his home telephone number and address on a blog and encouraging readers to call him, The Roanoke Times reported.

Speech that is found to be a "true threat" is not protected by the First Amendment because it incites illegal violence or action.