Judge Rules Out Voluntary Manslaughter in the Tiller Case

Some excellent pro-choice news to kick start your weekend…

You can breathe a sigh of relief, because after all that worry, it turns out Scott Roeder will not be given a chance at a lesser charge in the murder of Dr. George Tiller. After the defense rested its case Thursday, the judge ruled that the jury cannot consider a voluntary manslaughter charge, which Kansas law defines as “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force” and carries a slim four-to-six-year sentence.

The other revelations to surface today from Roeder’s testimony are rather disturbing, if not at all surprising: The 51-year-old admitted to shooting and killing Tiller in his Wichita, Kan., church and said that he doesn’t regret it because he believes “abortion is murder” (although later, while talking about abortion in the case of rape, he contradicted himself by observing that “two wrongs don’t make a right”). Roeder also admitted to considering other ways to attack Tiller — including cutting off his hands with a sword, hitting him with a car or shooting him with a rifle — before settling on his .22-caliber handgun.

Closing arguments will begin Friday morning, but for now you can rest assured that this trial will not set the deadly precedent that gunning down law-abiding healthcare workers is manslaughter and not murder.

via Broadsheet

About aj:
Andrew (AJ) is a vehement progressive, youth activist, and reproductive justice organizer. When he's not busy with the movement, you can usually find him dancing in the club or watching trashy reality tv.


  1. Mrs. Mastro says:

    One of the things that strikes me about Roeder’s testimony (as I read it in a NYT article today) is that, on top of buying a gun, taking shooting lessons and doing recon on Dr. Tiller, he shot him, left town, went and hid the gun in another town and then went out for pizza.

    If you believed, however irrationally, that your action was justified (as the Kansas statute that would have granted him the possibility of a manslaughter conviction requires), why would you feel the need to hide the gun?

    I know I am (mostly) preaching to the choir here, but this was an act of cold blooded, premeditated murder and nothing less. In fact, I would argue that this was an act of domestic terrorism–an attempt to intimidate and threaten law-abiding citizens into following your set of beliefs.

    Sick. Sick. Sick. I am happy, though, that the judge decided correctly in this case.

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