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FOX Guest: It's OK to Execute Innocent People As Long as We Save Money

Reported by Marie Therese - January 8, 2007 -

During an appearance on the January 6th edition of Cashin' In, obnoxious right-wing shock jock Greg Gutfeld made comments that stunned the other panelists, even Jonathan Hoenig, a FOX financial show regular who routinely whines that rich people are a persecuted minority. Gutfeld has no credentials as a financial analyst which leads me to wonder why he was scheduled as a guest in the first place. Oh, wait. I forgot. This is the FOX News Channel, where the approach to dispensing financial information involves flashing five minutes' worth of stock tips on the screen then spending the rest of the show discussing bimbos, boobs, boxing and bozos. Greg Gutfeld fits right in.

TERRY KEENAN, host: Saving American taxpayers millions by following Iraq's lead when it comes to the death penalty? Time to debate that in our Face Off. We welcome Greg Gutfeld who runs the DailyGut blog. He joins Wayne [Rogers] and Jonathan [Hoenig] for a spirited debate. Twelve years. Now that's how long the average criminal in America waits on death row before getting the death penalty, costing taxpayers millions of dollars. That's certainly not the case in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was sentenced and hanged within a month. Greg, you say, bring that system to America - a hanging many people were very disturbed by and believe was very much botched?

GREG GUTFELD: Well, they need to get over it. It was fast. It was efficient. Granted the lighting was a little bad, but we can always improve upon that. But the fact is you take 12 years, about twenty to thirty-five thousand dollars a year to keep one of them alive. There's about 3,000 or more of them. It come to about $600 million. That's enough to buy Wayne a new house.

KEENAN: Yeah, but a number of them were found by DNA, though, not to have been guilty.

GUTFELD: That is such a tiny, minuscule percentage, I'm willing to live with it.

KEENAN: Wayne? Jonathan?

JONATHAN HOENIG, CapitalistPig.com: Yeah, but isn't it better that one person - that 50 people spend the rest of their life in jail rather than one innocent man, Greg, get put to death for, you know, who's an innocent guy?

GUTFELD: That's an old canard. I think that when somebody's on death row, chances are they probably weren't a good person to begin with and if you risk that small percentage, it's worth risking.

HOENIG: Yeah, but to empty out the jails, just to save money, to kill everyone on death row just to save money. I mean, god, Greg, if you want to save money, what about the $2 billion a year we give to Egypt every year not to attack Israel? Or the farm subsidies or Amtrak? I mean, social security. There's billions of dollars wasted there. The Justice Department is an essential function of government. Why skimp on that?

KEENAN: Wayne.

GUTFELD: So what you're saying is that $600 milliion is not a lot of money. I think your viewers would disagree with that.

KEENAN: Wayne, let's get back to the - go ahead.

WAYNE ROGERS, Wayne Rogers, Inc.: Well I think thart you're talking about life and death. You can't equate it in dollars and sense, for god's sake. I mean a you're talking about an issue that is not monetarily equal, so there's no way to determine that, no. When you're talking about incarceration and the prisoners in the United States and people who violate the law, it's a very difficult subject and this is not the forum for it. But let me make the point. If justice is going to even be swift, yes, that's probably what you're saying, and swift justice is probably right, but in the case where DNA is now become a subject of where we have found it - this small percentage, if you say - who are innocent, it is worth taking the time to find out whether or not somebody is really guilty.

HOENIG: I gotta tell you ...

ROGERS: If the jury system has made a mistake, we should correct it.

KEENAN: Greg.

GUTFELD: I gotta tell you. I can't think of a single instance where we found somebody on death row innocent recently. I can't even think of one name. But, the other - the other issue is, what about the human rights of people on death row? There's a lot of overcrowding there. Let's do our part and ease the crowd.

KEENAN: Alright.

HOENIG: To be honest, I think this is disgusting. I think it's absolutely disgusting. I mean one of the great wonders of this country is it's fair and objective judicial system. I think if you're looking to make budget cuts, don't start with one of the essential functions of government, which is a justice system. I mean, you know, I don't think Saddam should have been given a trial, Terry. To be honest, I think we should have shot him in the back of the head and thrown him in the trash.

GUTFELD (off screen): But that's far worse.

HOENIG: But we're talking about American citizens in U. S. court. I mean, I think that they deserve their, you know, justice under the law and a prudent trial.

KEENAN: OK. Final word to you, Jonathan. Thanks, everbody. Thanks, Greg.

If you would agree with Jonathan Hoenig that Gutfeld's comment were "disgusting," feel free to use one or both of the links below to protest Gutfeld's complete lack of humanity or basic understanding of the American legal system.

cash@foxnews.com

comments@foxnews.com


Update: Post corrected at 6:16 PM EST to correct typo. "Jonathan Koenig" changed to "Jonathan Hoenig".