It only took 37 minutes for the jury to reach a verdict in the case of Scott Roeder, the Christian terrorist who assassinated Dr George Tiller while he was in church (of all places!) in Kansas earlier this year (as I blogged about on a number of occasions). CNN reports on it (WebCite cached article):

A Kansas jury deliberated just 37 minutes before convicting an anti-abortion activist of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an abortion provider.

The jury found Scott Roeder, 51, guilty of gunning down Dr. George Tiller, who operated a clinic in Wichita where late-term abortions were performed. Roeder, 51, faces life in prison when he is sentenced on March 9.

Apparently Roeder himself sped this verdict along:

A day earlier, Roeder told jurors he had shot Tiller in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church as Sunday services began. Testifying as his only defense witness, he said he believed he had to kill Tiller to save lives. He said he had no regrets.

“There was nothing being done, and the legal process had been exhausted, and these babies were dying every day,” Roeder said. “I felt that if someone did not do something, he was going to continue.”

Of course, this trial was a magnet for exactly the kinds of marvelously tasteful, mature, rational and logical protests one expects of the pro-lifers and the Religious Right:

The trial drew activists from both sides of the abortion debate to the courtroom, and a van plastered with slogans and photographs of fetuses was parked in a prominent spot in front of the courthouse.

As I’ve blogged before, pictures of aborted fetuses are objective, logical proof of absolutely nothing whatsoever. They may be emotionally-compelling, but an appeal to emotion (or as I call it, an argumentum ad motum) is meaningless and even fallacious.

Roeder’s claim to want to protect “babies” from Dr Tiller, was refuted by trial testimony:

Jurors heard emotional testimony from church-goers who rushed to Tiller’s side and attempted to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation as he lay in a pool of blood. Others, meanwhile, followed Roeder into the church parking lot, where he threatened to shoot them.

If all Roeder had wanted to do was to stop Tiller, what reason did he have to threaten anyone else in Tiller’s church, once he’d killed the doctor? Answer: None!

Given the interest in this case, and the fact that Roeder has had many supporters, one thing is sure: This is not over. A lengthy and intensive appeals process will likely begin soon. The Kansas state bench is stacked with many conservative judges, and it’s conceivable this case might be retried, or the verdict vacated, or something else. The Religious Right is not likely to let this case die. Not only that … it remains to be seen if any of Roeder’s accomplices — such as Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue (WebCite cached article) will be prosecuted for their roles in Tiller’s assassination. My own guess is that Roeder is the only one who will ever be charged.

Oh, and … memo to people who continue to insist that Christians are never terrorists … guess again. As of today, Scott Roeder is now a convicted Christian terrorist. See it right here (video courtesy of CBS News):

It’s time for Christians to stop acting as if the extremists in their own midst are somehow not quite as bad as other types of murderous extremists who belong to other religions. Are we finally clear on that?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.