Roundup: Roeder Trial Kicks Off


The trial of Scott Roeder, who is being prosecuted for murdering Dr. George Tiller, started off on Friday.  Roeder, who has already admitted to the murder, has pleaded "not guilty" in the slaying of the doctor well-known for providing late trimester abortions.

Sadly, it appears that the trial will be less about the actions of the accused, and more about the actions of the victim.

"I do think it’s important for us to honor Dr. Tiller’s courage and, frankly, his martyrdom," [Terry O'Neill, president of the pro-choice National Organization for Women (NOW)] said.

"It appears Scott Roeder is going to try to put Dr. Tiller on trial, and to me that is just monstrous."

Currently, Judge Warren Wilbert has rejected Roeder’s "necessity defense," but is considering allowing evidence to support a voluntary manslaughter conviction, although he did state it would be an "uphill battle.

Wilbert again denied the [necessity defense] request, telling Roeder at Friday’s hearing
that the argument "I had to shoot and kill Dr. Tiller to save unborn
babies" from abortion doesn’t meet the necessity defense because
abortions are legal and there has never been a finding that Tiller was
performing illegal abortions. Wilbert said the argument also fails by
its very definition because one life is not worth more than another.

The
Feminist Majority Foundation, which supports abortion rights, said that
despite his repeated rejections of the necessity defense, Wilbert is
essentially allowing Roeder to present a justifiable homicide defense.

"It
is unconscionable and it is unjustifiable," said Katherine Spillar, the
group’s executive vice president. "We fear it will simply embolden
anti-abortion extremists and it will be open season on doctors."

The real question, of course, is what is really going to be on trial – Roeder, or the practice of abortion itself.

Yet Mr. Roeder, who has pleaded not guilty, and his supporters have
made it clear that they hope the trial will focus less on who killed
Dr. Tiller than why — in essence, an effort to send the jury on a
broader examination of abortion and the practices of one of the few
doctors in the country who was known to provide abortions into the
third trimester of pregnancy.

The judge in the case, Warren
Wilbert of Sedgwick County District Court, has said he will not allow
the case to be transformed into a trial on abortion. But he also
indicated late last week that he might allow jurors to consider a
defense theory by which Mr. Roeder could be convicted of voluntary
manslaughter if jurors were to conclude that Mr. Roeder had, as Kansas
law defines it, “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances
existed that justified deadly force.”

With the fear that it is the practice of abortion itself that will be put on trial, the obvious focus now is on jury selection.

Philip Anthony, a Washington jury consultant not involved in the
case, said the problem with an abortion-related trial is that most
prospective jurors don’t recognize that they are biased on some level.

”That
is sort of the No. 1 issue this case deals with — where virtually
everybody has an opinion of one sort or another, even if they haven’t
stopped to think about it in their lives,” Anthony said. ”At the end
of the day, they probably have an opinion and that makes it very
difficult in jury selection.”

Potential jurors who are adamantly
opposed to abortion or who favor abortion rights — and who acknowledge
they look at this case with a bias from the start — will likely be
eliminated by the court without either side having to waste a strike,
Anthony said. But it’s the unstated biases of the rest that pose the
biggest challenge to both sides.

That of course, leads to the next logical question: do you strike a juror for his or her abortion views?

Roeder has admitted to reporters that he pulled the trigger. His
only defense lies with convincing the jury that he was somehow
justified in doing so, because he was trying to save unborn children.
(Which might not save him from prison — but it could qualify him for
conviction of a lesser crime, like manslaughter.) He really needs
jurors with pro-life views if he’s going to pull that off.

I’m not so sure that strategy is going to work. Judging from
comments here on CSKC, there are a lot of pro-life people out there who
– as much as they might hate abortion — don’t like men who
assassinate church door greeters, either.

 

Mini Roundup: There are good uses for tech, and bad uses for tech.  People really need to learn the difference.

 

January 11, 2010

24m
men to be mateless by end of decade

People’s Daily Online

24
million Chinese men face lonely future: report
AFP

Reproductive
health heads to coast
Viet Nam News

10th
candidates air views on
abortion, gay rights
Chicago Daily Herald

Jury
Selection Tough as Kan.
Abortion Trial Begins
AP

Centre
supports victims of rape
BBC News

State
asks families to consider
adoptions

Montgomery Advertiser

 

January 10, 2010

Osage
couple embraces challenges of
adoption
Mason City Globe Gazette

Family
planning
clinics offered

SW Iowa News

Republicans
governor contenders differ on guns,
abortion
Chicago Daily Herald

Premiums,
abortion
must be on agenda
Allentown
Morning Call

St
James residents to weigh in on
abortion debate
Jamaica Observer

WaPo
Reviews
Abortion
Battle in 2009 as All Tiller and Stupak
NewsBusters

Abortion
Curbs Let Stupak Sell Bill
Wall Street Journal

Reader’s
view: Ugly
abortion
rant wasn’t worth printing
Duluth News Tribune

Petition
will advance
abortion
notification
Anchorage
Daily News

On
Sidelines of Murder Trial, Division Among
Abortion Opponents
New York Times

Pro-Life
News: Health Care,
Abortion, Stem Cells, ACLU, Israel, Texas,
Indiana
LifeNews.com

Bill
requires emergency birth control access
AirForceTimes.com

How
The Media Have Mangled The
Pro-Life Story
American Thinker

Pro-Life
News: Obama, Abortion, Coakley, Scott Roeder, South Korea, Sweden
LifeNews.com

 

January 9, 2010

Protesters
follow
abortion
clinic to new location
Daytona Beach News-Journal

Abortion
doctor slaying goes to trial in Kansas

AFP

The
Right Hand of the Fathers
New York Times

Keep
abortion legal, but don’t use federal funds for it
The Tennessean

Does
Republicans For Choice PAC Actually Support Any Republicans For Choice?
Ethiopian Review

Abortion
rights activists get ready for another year of challenges
Washington Post

Florida
Gov. Charlie Crist Accused of Flipping on Abortion to Get
Pro-Life
Votes
LifeNews.com

Book
review: Susan Jacoby reviews ‘Condom Nation’ by Alexandra Lord
Washington Post

 

January 8, 2010

Did
Crist just reverse course on abortion?

Orlando Sentinel

Modernity
makes liaisons dangerous
Sydney Morning Herald

‘Indifference’
spreads chlamydia
BBC
News

U.S.
Government Rejoins Worldwide Consensus on Reproductive Health
PR Newswire

Judge
to consider Nevada Personhood initiative
San Jose Mercury News

House,
Senate Still Far Apart on Pro-
Abortion Health Care Bill, But It’s Coming
LifeNews.com

President
Barack Obama Will Renominate Two
Abortion Advocates for Judgeships
LifeNews.com

Will
jurors’
abortion
views matter in Roeder trial?
Kansas City Star

Anti-abortion
truck parked in front of Taylor’s office
Laurel Leader Call

Brown
and Coakley Continue to Feud on
Abortion in Massachusetts Senate Race
LifeNews.com

Judge:
‘Personhood’
abortion
petition too general for November ballot
Las Vegas Sun

Abortion
Language in Obamacare
Heritage.org

Harold
Ford
Abortion
Attack: NARAL Hits Possible Gillibrand Challenger
 
Huffington Post

‘Necessity
defense’ denied in
abortion doc slaying
Kansas City Star

Health
Care Countdown: Differences Over
Abortion Funding Pose Hurdle
FOXNews

The
Few Standing Between Current Law and Tax Payer Funded
Abortion
Heritage.org

Was
Maurice Vellacott right about
abortion?
Globe and Mail

Insurance
Companies Prefer
Abortion as Cheaper than Giving Birth: PP
Director
Lifesite

Catholic
Bishops Rep: Health Care Reform Bill Pro-
Abortion on Funding, Conscience
LifeNews.com

Parliament
legalises same-sex marriage, but not
adoption
France24

Nebraska
Becomes A Battleground Over Abortion

EmpowHer

NARAL
Uses Ford’s Words Against Him »
New York Daily News

Newsflash:
Democrats in New York Overwhelmingly
Pro-Choice

Newsweek

Video
Friday Five: Former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson
CitizenLink

Standing
Up for the World’s Women
Huffington Post

Marquette
wants couples to not have babies
Milwaukee Business Journal

Obama
appoints anti-Christian
Spero News

Jennifer
Lopez Down on In Vitro – So Why is IVF Contrary to
Pro-Life Values
Lifesite

CTK
To Host Noted
Pro-Life
Speaker
Georgia
Bulletin

When
scary Jesus make the news
San Francisco Chronicle

Calcium,
not smoking may limit
birth-control bone loss
Reuters

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