Tiller Shooting Brings Up Question Of New Trial

By: Amanda Crum - January 30, 2014

The first-degree manslaughter charge leveled against Scott Roeder in 2009 is being challenged this week after a Supreme Court hearing in Kansas focused on whether jurors were given all the options in his trial.

Roeder was convicted of murder and aggravated assault after he shot Dr. George Tiller, who provided abortions, while he was at church and aimed his gun at two witnesses. Sentenced to fifty years, 55-year old Roeder now has defenders who say that the jurors should have been allowed to choose whether he received the first-degree charge or a lesser one of voluntary manslaughter, because he believed that by killing Tiller, he was saving the lives of unborn children. However, Judge Warren Wilbert decided during the trial not to let jurors choose a lesser charge because of the threat of more violence against abortion providers.

“That gives someone the right to go out and kill the CEO of Philip Morris?” Justice Eric Rosen said after comparing the argument to a person who strongly believes that selling tobacco products is wrong due to the potential harm they cause. “It’s the same principle.”

“We’re talking about his view that this doctor is performing illegal abortions resulting in the deaths of others,” Rachel Pickering, an appellate defender, said on Wednesday. Pickering is lobbying for a new trial for Roeder, whose beliefs clashed violently with Tiller’s. Tiller was one of just a few doctors in the area who performed late-stage abortions, and had been acquitted of charges just weeks before his murder relating to late-stage termination violations.

Seven Supreme Court Justices listened to Pickering’s arguments and expressed doubt as to whether they are valid but have yet to rule. According to Pickering, Roeder believed that unborn children were in “imminent danger” at Tiller’s hands, but the justices pointed out that Tiller wasn’t scheduled to perform any procedures around the time he was killed. The fact that he was shot at church weighed heavily on the argument.

Image via Thinkstock

Amanda Crum

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

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  • Let’s Just Face Facts

    It is actually an interesting argument. Say I was knew the Columbine shooters were going to go to the school and shoot those kids and I stopped them. I would have saved lives. Literally. This man saved the lives of many unborn babies.

    At the end of the day, abortion is murder. I don't care about all the technicalities. All you have to do is look in an abortion bag and see the little hands and feet to see this. In fact, look for yourself: priestsforlife.org/resources/abortionimages/

    Most people are pro-abortion and have never even seen the results of an abortion. The sad part is I know men in prison who are there for decades for getting in fist fights.

    • @Let’s Just Face Facts

      At least you didn't say the Sandy Hook shooters. Sandy Hook is the biggest joke I have ever seen. I used to think it was legitimate. Then I heard all the conspiracy theorists and did my research because I thought it was preposterous. Now, I have completely changed my point of view. Sandy Hook has so many holes in it that it isn't even funny. In fact, it is terribly sad and awful. YouTube has many videos comparing Sandy Hook to Columbine. I urge everyone to look at them. Sandy Hook looks nothing like a real school shooting. By the way, I used to live in Danbury and I still have friends there. Danbury is very close to Sandy Hook. My old friends even tell me that the people there think something isn't right about everything. Sandy Hook is beyond crazy. From the websites that were up a month before the shooting happened to the fake kids used in photos. Crazy.

      • Oh Please

        Yep, I was just like you. At first, I thought it was crazy talk about Sandy Hook. Then I looked into it and it is not crazy talk at all. All you have to do is compare the 911 calls at Columbine to those of Sandy Hook to realize that nothing is right about that. It is eerie. All really messed up. In fact, that is what you will say after a while. America better start understanding that there is wholesale lying going on in this country. It is not just isolated incidents it is across the board. It all started with 9/11. All of it. They got away with 9/11 and now they know they can literally lie right to an American's face and they will do nothing about it.