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CALIFORNIA, May 17, 2002 (LSN.ca) – A federal appeals court ruled against activists who had produced Wild-West Wild West-style posters and a Web site condemning abortionists. They decided that this tactic amounted to illegal threats, not free speech. The same court came to the opposite decision last year, and this time around the court was sharply divided, issuing a 6-5 decision. At the same time, the federal court ordered a lower-court judge to reduce the $108.5 million in punitive damages awarded by a Portland, Ore., jury.  The case came to court when four doctors, claiming they feared for their lives, sued under racketeering laws and the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act law. “The case was widely seen as a test of a Supreme Court ruling that said a threat must be explicit and likely to cause ‘imminent lawless action’,” noted Associated Press. “During the trial, U.S. District Judge Robert Jones had told the jury the posters and Web site should be considered threats if they could be taken as such by a ‘reasonable person.’ Jones also had instructed the jury to consider the history of violence in the anti-abortion movement, including the slayings of abortionist Dr. Bernard Slepian and two other doctors whose names had appeared on the list.”  Site operator Neal Horsley said he is going to keep his site up and running, and that he is going to “add six bloody, baby-butchering judges to the Web site.” He was referring to the judges who ruled against him in the case. Mr. Horsley used to operate the “Nuremberg Files” website which also posted the pictures and names of abortionists, but replaced it with his current website when the court cases against him began. “The defendants are a dozen individuals and anti-abortion groups accused of giving Horsley personal information about abortion providers,” said Associated Press.  See:  https://cgi.wn.com/?action=display&article=13645263&template=worldnews/search.txt&index=recent https://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-abortion-appeal0516may16.story?coll=sns%2Dap%2Dnationworld%2Dheadlines