It is official, I guess, Scott Roeder announced to the Associated Press that he plans to pursue a defense whereby he will assert that pre-born children’s lives were in imminent danger and thus his execution of Tiller was justified. Read more here.
I would say his chances of prevailing with that argument are a little less good than a snowball’s chance in hell. It is just absurd and it seems like there should be some way of disallowing him to pervert the course of justice so that he can have a grandstand for his cause.
From the linked article:
“His confession came on the same day several strident abortion opponents released their ‘Defensive Action Statement 3rd Edition’ that proclaims any force that can be used to defend the life of a ‘born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child.’ The statement’s 21 signers demand Roeder’s jurors be allowed to consider the ‘question of when life begins’ in deciding whether lethal force was justified.
“Among the signers are Eric Rudolph, James Kopp and Shelley Shannon — all serving prison time for targeting abortion doctors.”
What do you bloggers think?
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.
Days after the murder of Dr. George Tiller, the out of state M.D.s who practiced with him vowed to keep Tiller’s clinic open after a week of mourning. Then it became less clear if the clinic would re-open. From today’s Wichita Eagle:
“Lee Thompson and Dan Monnat, the family’s lawyers, said in a statement that the clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, will be permanently closed, effective immediately.”
In addition to reassuring the clinic’s current patients of continuing care, I assumed that Tiller’s colleagues quickly announced the clinic’s ongoing operation as a way of stating that the tragedy of Tiller’s death would not result in a “victory”, as it were, for pro-life factions prone to such violence.
Abortion is still legal in the United States, obtaining one has become more inconvenient for women in Wichita, as this article from the WE states.
As the title of this article says Scott Roeder’s family share his history. From the above photo, he doesn’t look a lot different than those of us who lived through the time. He had some odd ball ideas about the government. Who didn’t know people at the time who had similar odd ball ideas?
The Freemen have largely declined as a recognized anti-government hate group.
Except for the fact that he was arrested with bomb making equipment, would it have been possible to see this coming? It should have been, in my humble opinion.
I thought this subject deserved a dedicated thread: What can we individually, and/or as a group, do that would be helpful in responding to the tragedy of Dr. Tiller’s death? As part of the foregoing reflection, I have been thinking about what can I do to better respond to people of conservative ideology. As I posted earlier, Krisof had an editorial in the NY Times which contended listening to opposing views does not change one’s position, in fact it can entrench one’s position. I believe this entrenchment happened to me as a result of posting and reading on the blog thatshallnotbenamed. I don’t want to be the person that I think I chose to be as a result of my BTSNBN (an abbreviation) experience.
One action I am going to take is to write an email to Phillip and share that I think hosting an unmoderated hate fest is not an especially good idea. I think that he and his corporation have a responsibility to not do that.
Also I am going to endeavor to follow one of those mother’s rules that was always difficult for me: “sometimes it is best to say nothing, if you can’t say something pleasant [or at least something non-confrontational].”
In re-reading this plan, it doesn’t seem like very much, but maybe it is better than nothing.
What do you bloggers think?