Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: May 27, 2022, 11:28 am

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
REF: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/us/30r...nted=print

Quote:Jury Reaches Guilty Verdict in Murder of Abortion Doctor

WICHITA, Kan. — It took jurors 37 minutes on Friday to convict Scott Roeder, an abortion opponent, of first-degree murder in the death of George R. Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country to perform late-term abortions.

When the verdict was read inside the Sedgwick County Courthouse here, Mr. Roeder, 51, had no visible reaction. He stared straight ahead, blinking his eyes. He faces a life sentence in prison.

Abortion rights supporters lauded the ruling, saying it sends a strong, unambiguous message to others who believe that violence against abortion doctors is justified that such acts will be punished. Some abortion opponents, meanwhile, said that Mr. Roeder — who admitted to the killing in open court but said that was the only way he could stop the deaths of babies — had not received a fair trial, and that the outcome might only encourage more violence.

After the verdict, Dr. Tiller’s lawyers issued a statement at the request of his widow, Jeanne, and their family. In the statement, they thanked the jury and the prosecutors and called the verdict “just.”

“We hope that George can be remembered for his legacy of service to women, the help he provided for those who needed it and the love and happiness he provided us as a husband, father and grandfather," the statement said.

During closing arguments on Friday morning, prosecutors portrayed the shooting of Dr. Tiller at his church on May 31 as not just premeditated murder but as “a planned assassination” that had been proved “not only beyond a reasonable doubt but beyond any doubt.”

“He claims justification,” Kim Parker, a prosecutor said, calling on jurors here to uphold the law, not Mr. Roeder’s views of abortion, which, she said, he had proudly trumpeted on the witness stand. “These are not the acts of a justified man. These acts are cowardly.”

Mr. Roeder’s lawyers had called for acquittal. Mark Rudy, a public defender, told jurors that Mr. Roeder had developed such strong feelings about his religious faith and against abortion that he had ultimately felt compelled to shoot Dr. Tiller, who had performed abortion for three decades and was a focal point for controversy nationally.

“He came to believe that the harm to these children every day was imminent,” Mr. Rudy said.

In his closing statement, Mr. Rudy alluded to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other contentious issues — such as “the relocation of native Americans” and “Stalinist purges in Russia” — as he spoke of Mr. Roeder’s beliefs on abortion. “We do not ask you to check your common sense at the door,” he urged the jurors.

The verdict came almost as fast as another verdict had at this courthouse, more than a year ago. It took a Sedgwick County jury less than 30 minutes last March to acquit Dr. Tiller of 19 misdemeanor violations of Kansas’s abortion law — a trial Mr. Roeder had attended parts of, and one the results of which he said he found deeply frustrating. A few months later, Mr. Roeder murdered Dr. Tiller.

“He plotted it, he planned it, he carried out, a planned assassination," Ann Swegle, another prosecutor, said in closing arguments on Friday.

“He told you, I’ve been planning to kill George Tiller since 1999 — 10 years worth of premeditation,” Ms. Swegle said. “He was convinced Dr. Tiller had to die, and he was going to be the one to kill him,” she said.

The jury also convicted Mr. Roeder of two counts of aggravated assault for pointing a gun at two other church members as he tried to get away after the shooting.

Watched intensely by all sides of the abortion debate, the trial turned into precisely what the presiding judge had said all along that it ought not to be — a trial over abortion.

On Thursday, when he took the witness stand in his own defense, Mr. Roeder was also matter of fact when saying he committed the crime.

Yes, he bought a gun. Yes, he took target practice. Yes, he had learned about Dr. Tiller’s habits, his home address, his security precautions. And, yes, he shot Dr. Tiller last May 31 as Dr. Tiller stood inside his church.

“That is correct, yes,” Mr. Roeder told the jurors, in a calm.

But there was a twist.

Lawyers for Mr. Roeder, who provided the only testimony for the defense in a trial that had spanned several weeks, had hoped that jurors would have Mr. Roeder’s motive: his growing opposition to abortion, which he deemed criminal and immoral, and his mounting sense that laws and prosecutors and other abortion opponents were never going to stop Dr. Tiller from performing them.

“I did what I thought was needed to be done to protect the children. I shot him,” he testified, adding at another point, “If I didn’t do it, the babies were going to die the next day.”

Was he remorseful? No, Mr. Roeder said without emotion. After the killing, he said, he felt “a sense of relief.”

Judge Warren Wilbert wrestled with requests from the prosecution and the defense over how to permit Mr. Roeder to mount a murder defense without allowing him to turn the case into a public forum on abortion.

But even with his pointed testimony, based on a ruling late Thursday by Judge Wilbert, Mr. Roeder had continued to face a difficult legal hurdle in beating back a charge of first-degree murder.

Judge Wilbert ruled that he would not instruct the jury to consider a lesser charge when they begin deliberations on Friday. Mr. Roeder pleaded not guilty to murder, but defense lawyers had argued that his beliefs about abortion might warrant a voluntary manslaughter conviction if jurors concluded that Mr. Roeder possessed, as Kansas law defines it, “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”

Seated on the witness stand, facing a tiny courtroom gallery that included Dr. Tiller’s widow, Jeanne, abortion opponents from other parts of the country, and national abortion rights supporters, Mr. Roeder was measured in his responses to inquiries about the killing, in which Dr. Tiller was shot in the forehead, the gun pressed to his skin.

Mr. Roeder told jurors that he had a growing sense of his own faith and opposition to abortion in the 1990s after watching “The 700 Club,” the evangelist Pat Robertson’s television talk show. Mr. Roeder’s views on religion and abortion, he said, went “hand in hand.”

Mr. Roeder acknowledged under cross-examination that he had, as early as 1993, thought about killing Dr. Tiller. A year before the shooting, he said, he had gone to Dr. Tiller’s church with a gun intending to shoot him. (Dr. Tiller was not there that day, he said.) And he said he considered other alternatives: cutting off Dr. Tiller’s hands with a sword, shooting him from a distance with a rifle, or finding him at his house.

Of his decision to go to the church, he said, “It was the only window of opportunity I saw that he could be stopped.”

Abortion opponents here, including some who have served time in jail for abortion clinic violence, praised Mr. Roeder for his testimony. But some complained bitterly that Judge Wilbert had severely limited the defense by barring the testimony of Phill Kline, a former Kansas attorney general who had unsuccessfully pursued criminal investigations against Dr. Tiller and by preventing jurors from considering some conviction short of murder.

Over four days, prosecutors laid out a case that rarely dealt with abortion, but stuck instead to dates and times and forensic and witness evidence implicating Mr. Roeder in the Tiller shooting. Abortion rights supporters said that was as it should be: this was murder, plain and simple.

By the middle of the week, the courthouse had drawn some of the most outspoken members of the abortion debate from around the country.

“George Tiller shed the blood of 60,000 innocent children,” Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, told reporters. Mr. Terry (who is in a legal dispute over the use of the group’s name with Operation Rescue’s current president, Troy Newman) said that he was neither condoning nor condemning Mr. Roeder’s actions, but that people should remember the children.

Days after Mr. Roeder’s arrest, the United States Department of Justice announced it was investigating Dr. Tiller’s death to determine whether there was anyone else involved in the plot. On Thursday, Mr. Roeder acknowledged that he has friends who, like him, believe that the killing of abortion doctors is justifiable. One such friend, Shelley Shannon, was imprisoned for shooting Dr. Tiller in both arms in 1993. Still, Mr. Roeder said on Thursday, he acted alone.

Justice Department representatives are “actively monitoring” Mr. Roeder’s case, a department spokesman said, adding, “Our investigation into the murder of Dr. Tiller is open and ongoing.”

Guided by lawyers, Mr. Roeder methodically described the morning of the shooting — how he had fired the gun inside the church, driven away from Wichita, hidden the gun in a small town, and picked up a snack, a pizza. In the days after the killing, Dr. Tiller’s family announced that it would close the abortion clinic, the only one in Wichita.

So, Nola Foulston, the prosecutor asked him, do you feel you have successfully completed your mission?

“He’s been stopped,” Mr. Roeder said.

But do you feel you have successfully completed your mission, she asked again.

“Yes,” he said.
RE: Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
Ultimately this is what faith leads to.
Another blemish on religion's already tarnished reputation, it is situations like these when I support the aggressiveness of 'New Atheism'.

These people are so blindly indoctrinated that they act like barbarians and still claim to be morally superior than those who don't think the same ridiculous bullshit as they do.

A bunch of Class A retards if you ask me.
"God is dead" - Friedrich Nietzsche

"Faith is what you have in things that DON'T exist. - Homer J. Simpson
RE: Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
(January 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm)Synackaon Wrote: REF: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/30/us/30r...nted=print

Yet another man led astray by the evil of christianity.

You can fix ignorance, you can't fix stupid.

Tinkety Tonk and down with the Nazis.


RE: Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
And incredibly, some people think this fucktard is a hero!
Science flies us to the moon and stars. Religion flies us into buildings.

God allowed 200,000 people to die in an earthquake. So what makes you think he cares about YOUR problems?
RE: Murderer of Dr. Tiller convicted!
Thor Wrote:And incredibly, some people think this fucktard is a hero!

I think this is somewhat disgusting to be honest... he murdered a doctor? 0.o

And a churchgoing Christian at that! How could anyone (even christians) think this murderer as anything more than a filthy blight upon humanity?

I mean... really? :S
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)