United States v. White, No. 11-2150 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
White created a website to advance white supremacy and included a statement that “everyone associated with the Matt Hale trial has deserved assassination for a long time.” The site also included information related to the foreperson of the jury that convicted Hale, a white supremacist, of criminally soliciting harm to a federal judge. Although a jury convicted him of soliciting the commission of a violent federal crime against a juror, 18 U.S.C. 373, the district court held that the government failed to present sufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to conclude that White was guilty of criminal solicitation, and that White’s speech was protected by the First Amendment. The Seventh Circuit reinstated the conviction and remanded for sentencing. A rational jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that, based on the contents of the website, its readership, and other contextual factors, White intentionally solicited a violent crime against Juror A by posting Juror A’s personal information on his website. Criminal solicitation is not protected by the First Amendment.