Friday, January 29, 2010
No open season on abortion providers: Jury finds Roeder guilty
The jury just declared Scott Roeder guilty of murdering abortion provider De. George Tiller at a Wichita, Kansas, church on May 31, 2009.
The decision was made after 40 minutes of deliberation.
Roeder admitted he committed the crime during three hours of testimony. Any possibility of Roeder being convicted of a lesser crime, such as manslaughter, was eliminated Thursday when the judge ruled that the only charge that could be considered was murder. The jury could only decide between guilty and not guilty on that charge.
Both sides made their closing arguments this morning, with the prosecution pounding home the fact that Roeder admitted he committed the crime, that the crime was obviously planned out beforehand (Roeder testified that he considered killing Tiller on several earlier occasions.
Stripped of the possibility of arguing that Roeder was guilty of a lesser offense, his attorney argued that Roeder was simply following the path of civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who broke laws for the greater good. Of course, the defense attorney failed to mention that Mrs. Parks and Dr. King's lawbreaking was always done in a non-violent fashion.
After the judge's decision to remove consideration of the lesser offense as far as Dr. Tiller's killing was concerned, the only question mark remaining in the case was how the jury would handle assault charges filed against Roeder for the other people who were shot, but not killed, by Roeder. Roeder was also found guilty on the assault charges.
Even that doubt had been pretty much removed after Roeder admitted that he also committed those crimes.
Court officials, concerned about the possibility of violence in the wake of the verdict, had added extra security, including bomb-sniffing dogs. The courtroom is surrounded by anti-abortion activists, who are offering a show of support for Roeder.