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Ear to the Ground

Abortion Doctor’s Killer Found Guilty

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Posted on Jan 29, 2010
Sedgwick County Jail

Scott Roeder in a jail mugshot after his arrest.

After just 37 minutes of deliberation, a Kansas jury found Scott Roeder, the man who admitted killing abortion doctor George Tiller, guilty of first-degree murder, rejecting his defense that the killing was justified to stop the death of the unborn. —JCL

The New York Times:

It took jurors 37 minutes on Friday to convict Scott Roeder, an abortion opponent, of first-degree murder in the death of George R. Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country to perform late-term abortions.

When the verdict was read inside the Sedgwick County Courthouse here, Mr. Roeder, 51, had no visible reaction. He stared straight ahead, blinking his eyes. He faces a life sentence in prison.

Abortion rights supporters lauded the ruling, saying it sends a strong, unambiguous message to others who believe that violence against abortion doctors is justified that such acts will be punished. Some 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 might only encourage more violence.

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By DBM, February 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Life doesn’t stop at birth.  Although an unregistered commenter, Patti, I guess you may see further comments. I assume you also support Dr Tiller’s right to life and also Scott Roeder’s right to life in prison.

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By patti, February 5, 2010 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr Roeder was as convicted to help the unborn from
being torn apart and sucked to their death, just as
were many German citizens that risked their lives
hiding Jews that were doomed to die for being Hebrew.
He knew the road he was traveling down and bravely
did what he feel’s God called him to do. Save unborn
children from the fate of being sucked apart. head
caved in, to achieve the late term abortion. How’s
that for protecting right’s? The pregnant mother may
have lost her right to not become a mother, but at
least an unborn baby won’t get pulled apart to it’s
death at this doctor’s hand anymore.

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By idarad, January 30, 2010 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

gerad, again you are right on point.

I have but two comments -
first, it is not “abortion rights”  it is CHOICE, that is the individual “right”, the courts-government are required to protect.  The court does not grant a “right” to a medical procedure be it termination of a pregnancy or an appendectomy.  If we are to ever get past this idiotic “debate” (bs framing) on abortion, we need to make this point every time the question is raised. It is disingenuous for the teabaggers to protest about not wanting the government to make their medical decisions, because at the same time they think it is okay to have the government make someone else’s medical” decision. 

second point - the death penalty is wrong, just as war, assassination of foreign leaders, sanctions against governments (read Haiti, Iraq, Cuba, Iran - though strangely not Sudan) that in effect only cause undue harm and death to individuals.  The only way to have a non-violent world is to live and act in a non-violent way. As much as one would think the world better by the removal of such despicable individuals such as Reider, Bush, Cheney, Blair, Bush, Robertson….. we only lower ourselves when we take such actions.  I for one think Reider’s remaining days would be best served collecting and cleaning the bedpans at the Kansas mental hospital in Liberal, Kansas, followed by nights in a cell next to a screamer.

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By logos712, January 30, 2010 at 7:02 am Link to this comment

As one who is pro-life, yes I also oppose the death penalty and unnecessary war(current one in Iraq/Afghanistan especially),the jury,of course, came to the right decision. But,it seems,there’s some hypocrisy going on. Are those who are otherwise against the death penalty, making an exception, because a doctor who did abortions was murdered? How many of you are against the killing of, say, convicted cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal?

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Kanamachi's avatar

By Kanamachi, January 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm Link to this comment

This is a very sad case. An innocent law-abiding person is murdered in cold blood
in the sanctuary of a church, none-the-less. The person who pulled the trigger is obviously—to
me anyway—not the sharpest tool in the shed. Where are the pundits like
O’Rielly, Limbaugh, Roberts, and Beck who for months, even years, encouraged
people like Scott Roeder to violate others rights and even take another persons
life? These people have incited murder and do not have the moral courage to take
responsibility for their actions. They all have blood on their hands too, just as if
they had pulled the trigger. They justify killing in order to save lives? Can’t they
see how hypocritical that is?

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By E.F., January 29, 2010 at 9:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well said Gerard and FRTothus.

Thank you also for including those historic quotes FRTothus… especially the one from old Roman times, which undoubtedly speaks volumes regarding today’s Roman Times… the elite plundering steamroller continues to roll over indigenous and unpopular peoples… only the personal names and State names have changed, but history hasn’t.

Doesn’t the bible mention how the pagans sacrifice their children to false gods?  Abortion can be seen as just that, only not having to wait for the birth.

Abortion is murder.  Simple.

To conceive the notion of where babies come from and from what acts is obvious to even a child… and removing that existence strikes a child’s conscience… why does it not some adults? 

To justify murdering an unborn child, regardless of what it looks like in the womb… is Science Fascism and denial of reality at its highest level.. too bad abortion supporters weren’t aborted themselves, wonder if they would have supported their very own abortion… ( hey, it’s not too late to retroactively remove yourself from life! it’s called suicide ). 

But of course, this guy was an idiot for killing the vacuum doctor in public… he obviously intended to make a statement and didn’t care for the consequences.. which would render him a psychopath… which should have been his defense ( the lawyer should have known that ).

Yet here is another story that will further fuel talk at the water cooler and take away from the where the real focus should be: on the scandal and fraud being perpetrated on the world via Banksters, hired-hand politicos the invisible hand which supports them.

Learn your history, and vote / protest accordingly.

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By Eve, January 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not necessarily agree with the death penalty but I am gratified by the decision of the jury to convict this man of first degree murder.
I agree with abortion (knowing second hand how difficult this decision is but acknowledging how in certain circumstances it is necessary). Regardless of my personal opinion every woman has the right to choose under the law and I must congratulate the jury for recognizing this fact and not being “persuaded” by the false arguments of the christian right.  This murder is nothing more than intimidation (no different than the mafia) and it cannot be tolerated in a civil society.

America is a country that stands for so many great things and it is slowly being undermined as so many societies are by the ultra-christians, ultra-jews, ultra-muslims—driven by fear of the ambiguities, contradictions and paradoxes of the modern world.

This case is tragic but I cannot commend the jury enough for standing by the concepts and morality that keep us human.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment

Oh, I think he should live a very, VERY long life—in one of the most notorious prisons where even the guards are afraid to go in.  You know, put him in a cell with a Hannibal Lechter-type, or a guy who gets off on breaking bones.

So he can live in pain and terror the rest of his life.  After all, he’s a terrorist.

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By DBM, January 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

You kind of figure that if Roeder was working for Blackwater when he committed the murder, this trial would have been abandoned due to “national security” concerns and he would be walking free.

I guess he should have signed up first.

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By poonchkie, January 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does the media insist on referring to Gynocolgists that also perform abortions as “abortion doctors”? It gives the impression that that was all he did.

The so-called “right-to-lifers” are the same people who berate poor women who are on public assistance, and support state sponsored murder. Just as in the case of Gays, the animus and hate their leadership promotes has led to the murders of many Doctors and the persecution of others even going so far as to picket and scream obscenities outside of their childrens schools, bomb and burn clinics and terrorize already frightened women attempting to access abortions. It seems that if they can’t change the law they will stoop to terrorism to force their views on the American people.

The subject of a womans right to choose has been a wedge issue and a distraction for far too long. It has become a litmus test for “real” Republicans. It’s sad that a brave DOCTOR had to die for providing a service to women, but it’s a win for the legal justice system to put this monster away for the rest of his miserable life.

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By garyrose66, January 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

I am generally against the death penalty.  In this case I believe the death penalty would be the correct punishment.  And I would propose the following method:  A gun with one bullet is placed at his head and the trigger pulled up to six times, once per hour, before the round is chambered. And spare me the false equivilences of war, terrorism, political assasination, and abortion etc etc.  This is a person who does not deserve to wake up each day thinking himself some kind of hero;  he is nothing more than a murdering scum who used fake religious fervor to cover up his cold blooded psychopathic desire to enjoy inflicting death.

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By Jim Yell, January 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If people were more educated in avoiding pregnancy and it was easier and cheaper to have the medications necessary not to get pregnant than there would be fewer needing to access this type of birth control.

Almost everyone supports not doing late terms unless the prospective mother’s health is at risk. One of the most glaring lies the anti abortion people use is let us have a waiting period before allowing the decision to be made. This of course means by the time the person is allowed to have the abortion, the fetus will be closer to something recognizable as human. Using termination of pregnancy should be done as close to the beginning of the pregnancy as possible to avoid the preception that a baby is being killed.

Forcing women to carry pregnancies they do not want is arrogance. If you think the anti abortionists are concerned with life than pass a law that all people voting to require a woman to carry a pregnancy against her will, will have to pay a value added tax to support the pregnancy and the child that results from this forced pregnancy. I should be very surprised if very many would consent as the idea really isn’t the value of life, but rather controlling women’s lives.

They should have him executed. It was a cold blooded premeditated murder.

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By FRTothus, January 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment

Gerard, not only do I agree with your assessment, but I think that the parallels go even further.  If the principle that this murderer killed in order to save lives is without merit, then what merit does pre-emptive war carry?  Is not his defense exactly that which was and still is used by US and UK officials (aka State terrorists) to justify their sanctions, bombings, and pre-meditated mass slaughter of other countries’ peoples?  Are they not basing their wholesale first-degree mass-murders on the meritless notion that they were killing in order to save (American) lives?  How can this man be condemned for what the State carries out regularly as a matter of policy, and why is it that the retail crimes deserve life sentences or worse, while the wholesale crimes of officials acting under the cover of the State escape responsibility?

“Only the grand scale and technocratic impersonality of the crimes conceived and directed by the [U.S.] ruling elite acting under cover of state authority distinguish them from garden variety killers.”
(Darrell Hamamoto)

“The problem the United States faces is that almost all of its invasions violate international law, and sometimes, as in the case of Iraq, in a blatant manner. So how do the political elite and the news media reconcile this contradiction? Simple: They ignore it. It is virtually unthinkable for a mainstream U.S. reporter to even pursue this issue.”
(John Nichols and Robert McChesney)

“We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?”
(Lucius Annaeus Seneca - the Younger, Roman statesman, philosopher)

“To initiate a war of aggression ... is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
(International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany - 1946)

“A terrorist is someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.”
(William Blum)

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By gerard, January 29, 2010 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

Of course the conviction and punishment of Scott Roeder is justice.  Murder is wrong.

But ... does anyone besides me see the gross inconsistency between Mr. Roeder’s crime and the crimes we are permitting—no, ordering our military to carry out in Afghanistan and elsewhere? Is war not murder on a massive scale? And what kind of “law” condemns it in one instance and permits—even encourages—it in the other?

And beyond that, what about mass deprivation of food,
denial of shelter, clothing, medical aid?

Questions like this, uncomfortable as they are, need to be faced if the human race is to remain human.

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By dihey, January 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Whether you are in the pro- or con-abortion camp you should rejoice that this jury told Mr. Roeder and his potential imitators unequivocally that their U.S.-style “Omerta” cannot be tolerated under any circumstance.

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