Two days before he was to sentence a neo-Nazi leader, a federal judge said he needs more time to consider whether William A. White was improperly convicted of encouraging his fellow racists to harm a juror whose verdict they disliked.
White, head of the Roanoke-based American National Socialist Workers Party, had been scheduled for sentencing Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. But on Monday, Judge Lynn Adelman postponed the hearing indefinitely while he considers a request by White's lawyers to reverse his conviction.
In January, a Chicago jury found White, 33, guilty of using his website to solicit violence against the foreman of a jury that convicted another white supremacist of trying to have a judge killed.
Defense lawyers are hopeful that Adelman -- who had previously dismissed the charge against White on First Amendment grounds before being reversed by an appeals court -- will again rule in their favor.
"The fact that he's doing this gives me hope," attorney Nishay Sanan said of the judge's decision to put off the sentencing.
White, whose Internet postings earned him prison time and a reputation as one of the nation's loudest neo-Nazis, has already completed a two-and-a-half-year sentence for making racially motivated threats from his home computer in Roanoke.
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