Jury Ready for Trial of White Supremacist

HICAGO, April 10 — A jury of 12 people, half of them members of minority groups, was sworn in Friday for the trial of the leader of a white supremacist organization who is charged with soliciting the murder of a federal judge.

The jurors promised to give the leader, Matthew Hale, 32, a fair trial despite what Judge James T. Moody of United States District Court told them would be evidence that Mr. Hale had used slurs to describe African-Americans and Jews.

Opening statements are expected Monday.

Mr. Hale, whose organization preached racial holy war, is accused of urging a follower and an F.B.I. informant to murder a federal judge in Chicago, Joan Humphrey Lefkow. Judge Lefkow was not attacked.

Mr. Hale faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say Mr. Hale was furious after Judge Lefkow ruled against him in a trademark infringement lawsuit involving his use of the name World Church of the Creator. Defense lawyers say there is no evidence that Mr. Hale urged violence against the judge.

Five of the jurors are black and one is Hispanic. Two of the four alternate jurors are black.

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Associated Press, USA
Apr. 11, 2004

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday April 11, 2004.
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