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Fox News Analyst Calls for Ending Jury Trials

Reported by Judy - May 4, 2006

A Fox News military analyst Thursday (May 4, 2006) reacted to the life sentence for Zacarias Moussaoui by calling for an end to the American constitutional right to a trial by a jury of one's peers and substitution of "professional juries" to handle criminal cases.

David Hunt, a retired U.S. Army colonel who appears regularly on Fox News, said on "Dayside" said that the jurors in the case "missed it" because they failed to give Moussaoui the death penalty because of his role in the 9/11 tragedy.

"I think it's time to get professional jurors. We've had O.J. SImpson, this guy, and others," Hunt said, adding that he understands the legal issues involved.

Hunt may "understand" on some level the constitutional issue of the right to a trial by a jury of one's peers, but he certainly does not appreciate the importance of having a jury that is separate from the government that is doing the prosecuting. His comment makes one wonder exactly what American freedoms he thought he was protecting during his years in the U.S. Army.

Although Hunt's radical proposal lies far outside the mainstream of American political thought, his comment brought forth absolutely no comment from "Dayside" co-hosts Juliet Huddy or Steve Doocy. Just Wednesday, Huddy had felt compelled to "play devil's advocate" when a guest questioned the motives and credibility of a Duke lacrosse player who did a television interview but refused to be identified.

Thursday, however, Huddy apparently felt the devil was well-represented in Hunt's remarks and let them stand without so much as a probing question about the constitutionality of his proposal. Instead, she went on to comment about how Americans will now be subjected to periodict news reports about how Moussaoui is doing in prison and so on.

Hunt's "blame-the-jury" strategy is not only shockingly un-American, it also is an attempt to cover up for the failures of the Bush administration. This bunch of incompetents, who claim they are keeping us safe from terrorism, could not even persuade 12 common-sense Americans that this guy who admitted being part of the plot and who asked for the penalty should be given what he wanted. Americans don't need "professional juries" to keep us safe. We need a professional government.

The jury verdict, besides a victory for Americans who believe a life sentence is actually more punishment than a quick death and smarter politically than making a martyr out of a Muslim extremist, was also a strong rebuke to the Bush administration's bungling of intelligence prior to 9/11.

By now, people may have forgotten how FBI agents begged their superiors to let them look at Moussaoui's laptop, where information about the plot was stored. In effect, the jury was saying that the failure of the federal government to discover the plot in advance was not solely due to Moussaoui's refusal to confess to it, but to federal incompetence -- incompetence that was related to George Bush's failure to take seriously a memo that said, "Al Qaeda determined to strike the U.S."

"Professional juries" hired by the federal government would only help cover up the government's incompetence.

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