It took the jury 37 minutes to reach their verdict on the man who described planning the shooting death of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller as “a relief” after he’d pulled the trigger, reports The New York Times:
Abortion rights supporters lauded the ruling, saying it sends a strong, unambiguous message to others who believe violence against abortion doctors is justified that such acts will be punished. 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 would only encourage more violence.
During closing arguments on Friday morning, Mr. Roeder sat silent and expressionless as 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 proven “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, 51, 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.
The entire “debate” manages to omit the key player in these narratives — the women who feel an abortion is necessary and who seek a safe, legal way to obtain one. It’s a woman’s body and her right to determine what happens to, and within it. Roeder and his ilk are terrifying in their self-righteouness.
Here’s the full story.