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Regional & National

Federal charge against Roanoke neo-Nazi Bill White dismissed

July 22nd, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

The Roanoke Times is reporting that a federal judge has dismissed a charge that neo-Nazi leader William A. White of Roanoke used his Web site to encourage violence.

Chicago, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled that White’s actions were protected by the First Amendment.

White had been charged with posting the name, address and telephone number of the foreman of a Chicago jury that convicted a fellow white supremacist in 2004.

Although the post made no direct threats against the man, federal prosecutors had argued that White made the information known with the hope that it would encourage readers of his racist Web site, overthrow.com, to threaten or harm the juror.

White’s attorney, Chris Shepherd of Chicago, said of the ruling: "The First Amendment is at its best when it protects unpopular speech. If the First Amendment only protected us from expressing opinions that everyone agrees with, it would become useless, because that type of speech needs no protection."

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