No Gunmen for Rent

An appeals court rules a magazine liable for a public offer to kill

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Montgomery, Alabama, has ruled that Soldier of Fortune magazine will have to pay $4.37 million in compensatory damages to Michael and Ian Braun. Their father, a businessman, was murdered in a contract killing set in motion by a 1985 classified ad headed GUN FOR HIRE and offering the "special skills" of a "professional mercenary." Two other businessmen, the advertiser, Richard Michael Savage, and an associate of his, were convicted of conspiracy in the murder. Soldier of Fortune, the court ruled, was negligent in publishing an ad that clearly indicated the advertiser...

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