***** UPDATED (again) AT 7:42 PM, Saturday, October 18, 2008, scroll to bottom******
Bill White, founder of the American National Socialist Workers' Party, was reportedly taken into custody by the FBI at approximately 5:00PM EST today, Friday October 17th. A search warrant was also allegedly executed on his residence.
Law enforcement officials routinely arrest people on a Friday afternoon so that they will have to spend at least a weekend behind bars.
The nature of the charges being leveled at Bill White are still ambiguous at this time; however, the arrest, which comes just days after federal authorities seized White's web site server for his blog Overthrow.com, is apparently related to an investigation into Overthrow.com's recent expose of a juror who served on the Matt Hale case.
Updates will be posted as they are received.
UPDATE 11:47 PM EDT ------------------------------------
While no one has seen any Indictment of Bill White yet, we know from speaking to witnesses who appeared before a federal Grand Jury in Roanoke last week, what issues the Grand Jury was investigating:
1) The publication of the Home address information about reporter Leonard Pitts, AND;
2) The publication of the Name, home address, phone number and photograph of a Juror who sat on the Matt Hale trial in Chiacgo several years ago.
I have a theory about the nature of any arrest and this is PURE SPECULATION, but if I'm right, the legal issue is an excellent one.
I believe the Juror on the Matt Hale Trial "felt intimidated" by Whites publication, even though the publication came long after the Matt Hale trial ended.
So the legal question the feds MAY be pursuing is this: How long does a juror enjoy protection from intimidation after a trial?
Many of my family and friends had the same knee-jerk reaction: They felt that once the trial ended, the protection against intimidation ended. But I threw a wrench into that thinking by using my own, real life experience as a Juror.
Back in 1994, while I was a lemming and was not racially aware or racist in any manner, I was called to Jury duty and seated as a juror in a double murder trial.
The accused was Black and he was charged with two counts of Murder, two counts of robbery - with a gun (a felony), two counts of felony murder and one count of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
I remember vividly at the time that I promised myself that I would take this incredibly seriously and do the right thing based solely on the facts of the case. I knew that as a Juror, I was the only thing standing between the accused and the awesome power of the state. I also knew that if I had a reasonable doubt -- a doubt that I could articulate -- I wouldn't have cared if I was the ONLY juror voting not guilty, I was prepared to hang the jury.
After the trial, the judge explained to the law to us and we began deliberations. Long story short, we found the guy NOT guilty of murder, but guilty of two counts of robbery, with a gun, (felonies), guilty of two counts of Felony murder and guilty of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. The defendant was sentenced to TWO CONSECUTIVE 30-year-to-life sentences. He would not be eligible for parole for at least 60 years.
His partner in the murders turned state's evidence and testified against the accused in return for a sentence of 20 years.
NOW SUPPOSE. . . . . . . . 20 years later, the partner gets out of jail. And SUPPOSE (hypothetically) the partner has a chip on his shoulder and comes to my house to say he's really pissed that I put his friend in jail for 60 years.
Might I, as a Juror, feel intimidated by this guy showing up at my place or encouraging his pals to? You bet!
Should I be protected from such intimidation? I say, yes.
I believe that this is the legal issue that the federal government will want decided in the Bill White case.
Frankly, if I am correct in this assessment -- and I say again this is purely a guess because I have not seen any Indictment of Bill White,-- I think the government can make a case that a Juror deserves and has LIFETIME protection from intimidation for serving on a jury.
As a person who served on a jury, I think that I should not have to suffer intimidation 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years later for doing my civic duty.
If this is the issue to be decided in Bill White's case - and I suspect it is - then I think Bill is going to be convicted and do time. How much time, I don't know. But the message will be unmistakable: Jurors are to be left alone for what they did on the Jury. Forever.
Criticizing a jury as a whole is fair game. But publishing home addresses, phone numbers and photos crosses the line. That's why I never did more than criticize a jury as a whole. Bill went further. Big mistake.
***** UPDATED AT 12:55 AM, Saturday, October 18, 2008 ******
I have obtained a copy of the SEARCH WARRANT to seize Bill Whites COMPUTER SERVER (Overthrow.com) which was executed last week on October 11, 2008 by the FBI.
You can view it HERE
*********** UPDATE: 7:42 PM EDT ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2008
I have positively confirmed that Bill White is being held in jail, without bail on charges of Threatening a federal Juror and Obstruction of Justice.