The death penalty will not be considered for Scott Roeder whom many eye-witnesses attest murdered George Tiller, M.D. in cold blood in his Church on 05-31-09. My question is: why not?
While Nola Foulston likes to talk tough, it is my opinion she is a pretty conservative in the sense that she does not like to take political risks. I think I agree with what I speculate are her moral calculations with this case.
Roeder has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia in the past. His court appointed attorneys would likely raise a McNaughton defense* if the sought penalty was death. I think Nola’s calculus is “let’s get him for something less than the death penalty; he will likely die in prison, anyway”. Mission accomplished.
I am pro-choice and anti-death penalty. My ex-wife used to enjoy pointing out the basic inconsistencies of my position on these subjects. Inconsistency does not bother me that much. I think our support of the death penalty in this country groups us with some of the most backward and fascist governments in the world. I would hope for more for America.
Given all of the above, I have to wonder if the death penalty for Scott Roeder would not send an important message to the next generation of abortion doctor killers? I think Roeder says pretty outrageous things for press and the attention, but I have no doubt there are many poised to follow in his footsteps.
In the end, I do agree with Ms. Foulston; a state sponsored killing of Roeder, makes the state no better than him. Though I am doubting the preceding was her rationalization.
*McNaughton = not guilty by reason of insanity defense. These are rarely won – which is contrary to what the public believes as revealed by numerous surveys.