A "jury without Jews" denied request by a New York judge today is making headline news. According to a March 11 ABC top news report, an attorney representing a suspected Muslim terrorist made a request that is not only anti-Semitic; it is a violation of the U.S. Constitution regarding racism and civil rights.
Frederick Cohn, counsel representing Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, who is accused of lying about planned terror against Americans in Afghanistan, made the motion last month.
However, the "jury without Jews" request was denied.
"Your Honor . . . as you know, I'm not wild about having Jews on the jury in this case. Given that there's going to be inflammatory testimony about Jews and Zionism, I think it would be hard for Jews to cast aside any innate antipathy," read the attorney's request in February.
The prosecutor in the case reminded the court of its duty to uphold the Constitution that forbids choosing jurors based on race, gender identity or religion.
Ironically, Attorney Cohn is Jewish. However, he later admitted his request to exclude Jews from the jury panel was a "bad decision," according to CBS News 2.
While this request is bizarre on its own merits, it's not the first time an accused terrorist made an anti-Semtic request to ban Jewish jurors and was rejected.
The high-profile case of "Lady Al Qaeda" in 2010 involved some of the same elements. Then, Aafia Siddiqui, a Muslim American, who allegedly killed American soldiers in the Middle East and planned a New York attack, requested a Jewish-free jury pool. Her requested was denied and she was later convicted of all charges.
Should the "jury without Jews" request have been denied?