Tobin could be acquitted or face new trial

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A federal judge in New Hampshire is considering the definitions of the words ‘harassment’ and ‘intention’ as he decides on the phone jamming case of a former national Republican Party official.

James Tobin was convicted in 2005 on telephone harassment charges for his alleged role in jamming get-out-the-vote phone banks manned by Democrats and a nonpartisan union in the 2002 election. This spring an appeals court overturned the conviction, saying the trial judge gave the jury overly broad instructions over what constitutes harassment.

Yesterday Judge Steven McAuliffe listened to lawyers from both sides argue about the definition of harassment and whether the phone jamming calls were intended to criminally harass the phone banks.

At issue is whether Tobin should be acquitted or face another trial.

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