There are some that find the actions of Scott Roeder reprehensible. There are some that find his actions to be understandable while not in line with the beliefs that drove him. There are some that see it as a multiple Human Tragedy.
There are some that find his actions the expected even necessary ends given the obscenities of George Tiller's chosen profession.
I find the decision of the jury to be disheartening.
But, even more than that I find the actions of the judge to be disturbing.
I've read that the presiding judge instructed the jury to disregard the defense's contention that Mr. Roeder's actions were to protect life because his actions were to stop a lawful threat.
The judge even reminded the jury that the victim posed no imminent threat to anyone as he stood in his church.
Both are true according to Kansas Statutes. But, is the judge's decision to disallow the “necessity defense” at trial not, "clearly castrating a jury of the defendant’s peers to not allow them to hear the full defense, and the defendant’s justification (in his mind) for doing so…simply because the activity he criminally disrupted was immoral to him." There are yet to be seen consequences of disallowing a defense because "what Tiller did at his clinic Monday through Friday is lawful in Kansas."
Moreover, I have yet to read that the judge instructed the jury of their right to nullify said statutes.
Because he also instructed the jury that they could not consider lesser charges; its only choice was to convict or acquit on first-degree murder.
Every member of the jury knew, as they were reminded by the defense, "The state…has proved that Scott Roeder killed George Tiller. But only you, collectively, can determine if he murdered George Tiller"
With so much evidence that Mr. Roeder had indeed caused the death of Mr. Tiller in a pre-meditated manner, there is no doubt that the jury could not find Mr. Roeder innocent. Unless they were fully knowledgeable about their right to nullify any law.
To those who will say that is allowing Mr. Roeder to get away with murder, I reply, simply, no it is requiring the State to file charges consistent with the sensibilities of the people.
But, did the jury understand the right of nullification ? Did the judge overstep his position ?
We must wait for the appeals to be filed to understand whether or not the defense thinks that there was a grave injustice done here.
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