The following is a transcript from ABC News' Bill Weir's interview with Pastor Terry Jones on Jones' response to the United Nations saying their staffers were killed in Afghanistan during a violent protest over his Koran burning. This interview aired on "World News" and "Nightline" on April 1, 2011.
"Nightline" anchor Bill Weir: Everyone from President Obama to Secretary Gates to General Petraeus implored you not to do this and you told us back in September that that actually helped change your mind and backed you off a bit. So why did you go through with this earlier this month? Why did you burn a Koran after all?
Pastor Terry Jones: Well, like you said, we did decide to cancel our "International Burn the Koran Day." We still wanted to make an awareness of the radical element of Islam. We wondered how could we do that. How could we give Islam a fair shake, give them an opportunity? As you realize "International Burn a Koran day," that was of course somewhat of a lopsided story. We had that the Koran was guilty, that we were going to burn the Koran as a protest against the radical element of Islam. After that was canceled, we still wanted to continue our campaign raising an awareness of this dangerous religion and this dangerous element. After this much though we came up with "International Judge the Koran Day." We decided we would put the Koran on trial. We had reps from the Muslim community, we had Imam here. We had people who converted from Islam to Christianity. We had a prosecuting attorney. A defense attorney. And the Koran was put on trial.
Weir: And who was the judge and jury in your trial?
Jones: I was the judge, but I did not determine the verdict. I was just a type of referee to make sure everybody got their fair time to defend the Koran or make a defense against the Koran.
Weir: And who was the jury? Who was the jury -- who condemned the Koran?
Jones: Individuals mainly from around Florida. The jury was open to Muslims, we did have no Muslims on the jury but what we did try to do--like a regular American jury--we did try to make sure the people were not already prejudice or against the Koran. They were to listen to the evidence, like I say we had on both sides of the fence. We had definite authorities concerning the Koran. If the Koran was found not guilty then I was to issue a public apology for our accusations and insults against the Koran.
Jones: If the Koran was found guilty then there were four forms of punishment by which the people could choose. Those forms were burning, shredding, rounding and the Koran would face the firing squad. The one that the people chose was burning--that was why the Koran was burned after it was found guilty.
Weir: So just to be clear in the piece, your jury was made up of random Floridians or members of your congregations or people from your community?
Jones: Made of random people from around Florida -- yes. We put an invitation out to people who wanted to be on the jury, and these were the people who expressed a desire to do that.
Weir: When you got news of today's deadly riots there in Afghanistan, what was the first thought that went through your head?