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White Supremacist Found Guilty Soliciting Violence Against Jury Foreman

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January 7, 2011 - A self-proclaimed white supremacist was convicted on Wednesday by a federal jury in Chicago of soliciting violence to the foreman of a federal jury in Chicago that convicted another white supremacist, Matthew Hale, in 2004, federal law enforcement officials announced. 

The defendant, William A. White, was found guilty on one count of solicitation, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

White, 33, also known as “Bill White,” of Roanoke, Va., faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Jurors deliberated several hours following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, of Milwaukee, who was assigned to preside over the case in U.S. District Court in Chicago. A sentencing date was not immediately set.

 

White came to public attention in 1996 in a front page article in The Washington Post after he posted allegations about the stepmother of a girl he said was being abused. In 1999 he expressed support for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, killers of twelve students and a teacher in the Columbine High School massacre, because according to White, they were being oppressed by the United States education system. 

In 2005, The New York Times quoted White as having "laughed" when United States district court judge Joan Lefkow's husband and mother were murdered because Lefkow had ruled against white supremacist Matthew Hale in a trademark dispute. 

He told The Roanoke Times that he looked forward to "further killings of Jews and their sympathizers." White is skeptical of the Holocaust, saying "claims that ... the gas chambers were part of a 'Holocaust' of 'six million,' were invented almost entirely by the Soviet Union, and were later adopted by the Jewish communities of the Western nations." The Anti-Defamation League quotes White saying "there was no Holocaust" and describes what they call "White's Holocaust denial rhetoric". 

Judge Adelman initially had dismissed the indictment against White but a federal appeals court in Chicago reinstated the solicitation charge last summer. The verdict is White’s second federal conviction in little more than a year. He is currently serving a 30-month federal sentence that was imposed last April after a federal jury in Roanoke convicted him in December 2009 of three counts of communicating threats in interstate commerce and one count of witness intimidation. 

 

“After one white supremacist was tried, convicted and sentenced for soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago, White solicited his followers to retaliate against the foreman of that jury,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “While freedom of speech is among our most cherished rights, the First Amendment does not protect anyone who intends to induce others to kill or injure. It is critical to our system of justice that jurors and judges alike must be free to perform their duties without living in fear.” 

According to the evidence at trial, White created and maintained a former website, “Overthrow.com,” which was publicly accessible on the Internet. The website purported to be affiliated with the “American National Socialist Workers Party” (ANSWP), and claimed the organization was comprised of a “convergence of former [white supremacy] ‘movement’ activists who grew disgusted with the general garbage that ‘the movement’ has attracted and who formed the ANSWP under the Command of Bill White.” Members of the ANSWP were described as “National Socialists... who fight for white working people.” 

Between Sept. 11 and Oct. 11, 2008, White used the website to solicit another person to injure Juror A on account of Juror A’s role as the foreperson of the jury that convicted Hale, the leader of a white supremacist organization known as the World Church of the Creator, who was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison for soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago. 

As part of White’s solicitation of violence against Juror A, White posted derogatory comments and personal information about Juror A, including Juror A’s home address and phone numbers, to be posted on the Overthrow.com website on Sept. 11, 2008. The solicitation occurred under circumstances strongly corroborating White’s intent that another person engage in criminal conduct using, attempting to use or threatening the use of force against Juror A. 

 
   

White was aware that individuals associated with the white supremacist movement, who were the target audience of his website, at times engaged in acts of violence, directed at non-whites, Jews, gays, and persons perceived by white supremacists as acting contrary to their interests.  

Prior to the solicitation against Juror A, White on multiple occasions caused postings to the website which disclosed what purported to be the home address and/or personal identifying information of individuals who were targets of criticism on the Internet. Certain of these postings during the same time period expressed White’s desire that acts of violence be committed against these specific individuals, including author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, individuals known as the “Jena 6,” a Canadian civil rights lawyer, and syndicated newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts.

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