Virginia high court to decide legality of displaying a noose

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments this week over whether a man broke the law when he hung a black-faced dummy in his front yard.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that lawyers for Jack Eugene Turner of Rocky Mount will argue before the court Wednesday.

Turner was convicted in 2015 of violating a state law that prohibits hanging a noose to intimidate. Turner is white. He was upset at some black neighbors.

Turner got six months in jail. He argues his free speech rights were violated and that state law only bars displays of nooses on public land, not private property.

The state’s attorneys disagree, arguing the noose was meant to intimidate and had instilled fear in his neighbors.

The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld Turner’s conviction in 2016.

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