Notice I didn’t write “alleged” killer in the title. That’s because Scott Roeder has confessed in court and in fact is eager to defend his actions. “Those children were in immediate danger if someone did not stop George Tiller,” Roeder told jurors. That a man can be proud that he killed another man is beyond me, no matter what the provocation.
Fortunately, the judge has thrown out the possible verdict of voluntary manslaughter which would have required the defense to show that Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified. The judge also noted that abortion is legal in Kansas. Judge Wilbert also refused to allow a second-degree murder defense, which does not involve premeditation, because the evidence — and Roeder’s own testimony — clearly showed Roeder planned the shooting. Instead, Roeder is being charged with premeditated, first degree murder.
Roeder testified that he considered several different ways of stopping Dr. George Tiller from performing abortions, but finally decided that walking into his church and shooting him in the head was the simplest and most effective. He also testified that he had gone to the church on three other occasions, but that Dr. Tiller wasn’t present then. I guess he finally got “lucky” on May 31st, 2009.
At least one person who was watching the trial protested that Roeder wasn’t being given a fair one. “The very thing (the judge) is attempting to suppress, vigilantism … he is actually promoting it by not allowing Scott to have a fair trial,” Andrew Beacham said. Excuse me?
Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said that the trial shows that Roeder believes that the killing was justifiable homicide and that a guilty verdict might open the door to a federal investigation and prosecution of any others who might be involved in similar acts. One can only hope. It’s about time that such a precedent is set.
Source: Associated Press story
Post Script: The jury returned a verdict of guilty in just 37 minutes!