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Radio interview
Alan Keyes on McIntyre in the Morning (KABC)
August 11, 2005

AL RANTEL, GUEST HOST: All right. We are back. Al Rantel for Doug McIntyre, and on the line with us a friend that I've had the opportunity to interview before. Ambassador Alan Keyes, former Republican presidential candidate, and always a pleasure to talk to.

Ambassador Keyes, how are you, sir?

ALAN KEYES: I'm doing very well. How are you?

RANTEL: Nice to talk to you.

I just saw a story I have to share with you--even though it's off what we're going to talk about, the Michael Jackson jurors (you've written a great piece on that which everybody, by the way, can read at But a story just moved on the wire. The most liberal city in America, Alan, is Detroit.


RANTEL: How do you like that?

KEYES: I don't know if that surprises me. [laughs]

RANTEL: Yeah. Isn't that the city with the most problems?

KEYES: Yes, it is.

RANTEL: Isn't that funny how that works? I thought of you. I said . . .

KEYES: High crime wave, can't maintain the economic base, other sorts of things going on.

RANTEL: Right.

KEYES: Sounds like liberalism.

RANTEL: It sounds like it's the laboratory and the rabbit died.

Yeah. And the most conservative city in America is Provo, Utah.


RANTEL: There you go. Where would you rather live? [laughs]

KEYES: Yes, I know. [laughs]

RANTEL: Alan, you've written a great piece. This is an amazing--I just want to play, so you can comment on this, because I know you get revved up easy like I do. I want to play for you a short cut. This was when Rita Cosby on her show on MSNBC had this juror Eleanor Cook on, one of the two jurors. And now we have three jurors who've said they know Michael is guilty, Michael Jackson is guilty. But this one juror who said that not only is Michael guilty, but that she was intimidated into voting the way that she voted.


RANTEL: I need to play for you, this cut here, and I want you to respond to it because it's amazing. Go ahead.
CLIP, RITA COSBY, MSNBC: . . . jurors who are going to be watching this are gonna be angry at you. Are you ready for the onslaught?

JUROR RAY HULTMAN: Yeah, I'm ready.

JUROR ELEANOR COOK: They can be as angry as they want to. They ought to be ashamed. They're the ones that let a pedophile go.

RANTEL: Alan? Unbelievable.

KEYES: I think that is unbelievable. As I say in my article, my problem here--and this has nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of Michael Jackson, it has to do with whether people understand what it means to be a juror--these people are coming forward now and basically saying, "We lied. When we were asked, 'Do you find him guilty or innocent,' we lied." And they seem not to realize that they were sworn in answer to that question to render a true verdict. The literal meaning of the word "verdict," by the way, is "a true saying." Verus dictum, a true saying.

They were supposed to speak truly, and they lied. They perjured themselves.

And it's amazing, we seem to forget the very word "jury" comes from the Latin jurare, meaning, "to swear; to take an oath." And they violated their oath and are now saying somebody else ought to be ashamed. No, they ought to be ashamed.

RANTEL: Right! Yeah. I know, Alan, if you were on the jury, first of all, you would be the foreman on the jury. No doubt about that. But maybe I would, too, if I was on a separate jury, because, you know, we have convictions. And if I was sitting there--as this woman just said, "They let a pedophile go," so she believes, based on the evidence, that Michael Jackson was demonstrated to have committed the crimes that he was charged with, and yet, she didn't say to the other jurors, "Listen. I don't care what you say. I don't care. You can try to intimidate me, I don't care what you do. I believe he is guilty, and I'm not going to sign a jury verdict form that says he's not guilty"--but that's what she did!

KEYES: She was not only morally obliged, I think, and ethically, and all these things that have to do with character and decency, she was in fact formally and legally obliged by the oath she took as a juror to give the true answer to the question, "Is he guilty or innocent? Do you find him so?" And she did not. And neither did the other fellow.

Now, the third juror who has come forward is in a slightly different case.

RANTEL: Right.

KEYES: She's basically saying, "Look. I kind of felt like he was guilty, but there was reasonable doubt." That's actually a proper way to proceed--not to go with your feelings or your gut, but to look at it and say, "Well, they said reasonable doubt. There is a reasonable doubt, so I'll go with that."

But these other two jurors are basically telling the whole world that they forswore themselves, that they lied, that they perjured themselves as jurors--and I frankly think formal charges should be brought against them. It corrupts the very integrity of the jury system if you let people get away with this.

RANTEL: Now, Alan, how does that work? You know a lot about the law. You're brilliant on these subjects of legal stuff. How does that work, because when you sign the jury form, and then of course, usually, in many cases--at least that I've seen--they poll the jury, "Is this your verdict?" Right? And the jury says "yes" individually, each one. So, if the jurors sign the verdict form, and then if they answer the question "is this your verdict" with "yes," how do you get them for perjury? I don't understand that.

KEYES: Because they are confessing it. Usually it would be kind of hard, because somebody is going to say, "Well, I didn't believe that at the time," and so forth. These people have come forward and said it--openly volunteered--that at the time they cast their vote, it was not a true reflection of their judgment. And that means they are confessing to perjury.

That's the only way, I think, you could get them, but you have got them in this case, in my opinion, because they have in fact openly in front of the whole country, under no pressure or duress, gone on TV and confessed their perjury. Otherwise, it would be kind of hard, because I doubt that most people would be so shameless as to stand up and basically say, "Well, we voted this way, but we lied, because that's not how we felt."

RANTEL: Well, Alan, I think they're doing that because they want to clear their conscience. Right?

KEYES: I don't know. I frankly didn't understand what was said about intimidation--this notion that, "Well, if we didn't do this, the foreman said we would get kicked off the jury." I'm thinking to myself, "So what?"

RANTEL: Yeah, "So what?"

KEYES: You know, "So you get kicked off the jury."

And in point of fact, that's not true, by the way. If they felt that they were being unduly intimidated or pressured by the foreman or anyone else, they should have notified the judge.

RANTEL: Do you think the fact that these two people are writing books--and should we allow jurors to be in a situation where they know going in that they are planning on writing a book, they are keeping all these notes? You know, here in California we allow the jurors--some states don't--we allow the jurors to keep all the notes they take. They don't turn them in at the end. I suppose they could make copies of them, so who knows. But what about the books angle of this story here?

KEYES: Well, see, I think sadly here, that may be--I'm not saying it is--but it could possibly be part of the motivation. Right? You don't want to get kicked off the jury because you don't want to be out of that position where you could make big bucks and get attention, and so forth and so on.

RANTEL: Exactly. Right.

KEYES: So it becomes less important that you should actually abide by your oath and do the thing that's required of you than to keep you in a position where you can possibly benefit from your status as a juror in this famous trial.

And I think that that's no different than if you had taken a bribe, in my opinion. You're basically allowing yourself to be bribed by the prospect of that kind of fame and fortune into giving a false result. And that's what they say they did. In other words, because there was this threat they might be removed from the jury, at least as far as I could tell from what they said, they delivered a false verdict.

They are, in my opinion, in a position where they have confessed to dishonorable, shameful conduct that goes against the oath they explicitly took--and I think we have to send some kind of a message in this country that jurors must take their oath more seriously than that.

RANTEL: Yeah, absolutely.

Well, you know what, Alan, you've explained what verdict means, what jury means, where the word comes from. You know, we got a president of the United States who thought nothing about committing perjury. You and I remember him.

KEYES: I do remember him, yes. And I was upset about that for this very reason.

If you want to govern yourself, right--we have a system of self-government where the people have this kind of power. Think of it. For thousands of years, ordinary human beings didn't get to participate in these judgments. It was left to some elite or to the king or to some tyrant or dictator.

People get to sit as judges, essentially, in these cases because of the advances made in respect for our basic rights and dignity--and now we're carelessly abusing this position by not acting in a rudimentary way, according to the oath that we take in this particular case.

These people were officers of the court, as much sworn to do right as a judge, and they are as guilty of malfeasance, confessed out of their own mouth, as a judge who gave into intimidation when he delivered a result.

RANTEL: Do you think that when we try celebrities this goes with the territory? Because we're seeing all these, you know, what people think are kind of runaway juries with celebrity cases.

KEYES: Well, I think the temptation goes with the territory and pressures go with the territory. But the question is, as a people and as individuals, can we measure up to a basic standard of character so that this does not corrupt the jury system--which will eventually lead people to start arguing, "Well, we've got to move more and more cases out of the juries' control," which is what some people are saying.

RANTEL: And it wouldn't matter to Michael Jackson. Let's say these people were--which I don't think is going to happen, I don't think you do, either, Alan--that they are going to charge them with perjury. But even if they did, Michael Jackson's completely off the hook, right?

KEYES: No, this wouldn't affect the verdict I don't think at all, even though, as I argue in the piece, in a way Michael Jackson's in a very difficult position. Here he has gotten a verdict, right, basically in the court, where you're supposed to formally make these accusations, he has been put in jeopardy and declared innocent--and yet these people are now putting him in a position where this accusation is going to dog him for the rest of his life, buttressed by the notion that these jurors were in fact not delivering an honest opinion, and so forth.

I think that this is wrong for him, but that's not the most important point. The most important point is it is wrong for the whole system that we rely on.

RANTEL: Alan, I love throwing you a curveball at the end, since we're out of time. Ambassador Alan Keyes, wish we have more time, but we don't. But are you supporting, just for my curiosity's sake--are you supporting Judge Roberts for the Supreme Court?

KEYES: I was inclined to do so, but I'm afraid these reports about his relationship with these folks who argued this landmark decision on gay marriage that has been so harmful . . .


KEYES: . . . and the attitude that he took, I am now suspending judgment. I want to look at him, see what he has to say at the hearings, and so forth, because we've had too many wringers in the past.

RANTEL: Yeah. We don't need another David Souter, do we?

KEYES: We don't need another Souter, another Kennedy. We don't need another Sandra Day O'Connor. [laughs]

RANTEL: Alan Keyes. Hey, listen, I hope you're doing well, my friend.

KEYES: I'm doing fine. Thank you. Same to you.

RANTEL: Good to hear from you. I hope we talk again. Thank you, sir. Thanks for your time.

KEYES: Hope so. Bye-bye.

RANTEL: You can read Alan at and other places.

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