Virginia Man Says Law Banning Use Of Nooses To Intimidate People Violates His Rights

A Virginia man hopes to con­vince the state’s Supreme Court that he should legal­ly be allowed to hang a noose to intim­i­date black peo­ple — if it’s on his own pri­vate prop­er­ty.

He doesn’t appear to dis­pute the facts of the case and has been unre­pen­tant about his racism. In fact, after being con­vict­ed of vio­lat­ing the noose law — but before he was sen­tenced — Turner was arrest­ed a sec­ond time for post­ing a sign on his lawn that read, “Nigger lives don’t mat­ter. Got rope?”

Turner says that the law doesn’t apply to him because he hung his noose on pri­vate, not pub­lic, prop­er­ty. He also claims that pun­ish­ing him for hang­ing a noose vio­lates his First Amendment right to free speech.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, Assistant Attorney General Christopher P. Schandevel, argu­ing the case for the state, told the court that Turner “does not have an absolute right to make a true threat on pri­vate prop­er­ty.” True threats are not con­sid­ered pro­tect­ed speech by the First Amendment.

The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld Turner’s con­vic­tion for vio­lat­ing the noose law in 2016. Virginia’s Supreme Court judges ques­tioned both sides of the appeal on Wednesday. It’s not known when they will deliv­er their rul­ing. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, New York, Connecticut and Louisiana have sim­i­lar noose laws. https://​www​.the​root​.com/​v​i​r​g​i​n​i​a​-​m​a​n​-​w​a​n​t​s​-​t​o​-​o​v​e​r​t​u​r​n​-​s​t​a​t​e​-​l​a​w​-​b​a​n​n​i​n​g​-​u​s​e​-​o​f​-​1​8​2​1​9​8​9​907