Jury being chosen in ‘take up arms’ blogger trial

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the trial of a blogger accused of urging readers to “take up arms” against Connecticut lawmakers.

The prosecution and defense began questioning potential jurors Wednesday in Hartford Superior Court in the case of Harold “Hal” Turner. The trial is expected to begin Sept. 15 and last up to four days.

The North Bergen, N.J., resident was arrested in 2009 after he suggested that government officials “obey the Constitution or die” in response to legislation on Catholic Church finances that later failed.

Turner claims his comments are protected by the First Amendment right of free speech. He faces charges of inciting injury to persons and threatening.

He is already serving a nearly three-year prison sentence for making death threats against federal judges in Illinois.