WASHINGTON, DC – “James Kopp’s confession to the assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian is an enormous relief to the pro-choice community but it is only a first step,” stated Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “The evidence against him was overwhelming, and law enforcement, both local and federal, as well as the Buffalo News, have performed admirably in this case. The confession is especially gratifying because it belies the claims of several anti-abortion organizations and extremists that Kopp was framed for the murder.”
“The Buffalo News exclusive makes it clear that Kopp had assistance during his reign of terror and that he has chosen not to reveal the names of those who aided him and abetted him. Without disclosure of the identities of the participants in his terrorist network, including those that provided safe harbor homes, assisted in the planning of the attacks, funded him, aided in his escape from Dr. Slepian’s home, and assisted him in the 2 _ years he spent as a fugitive from justice, no one should believe his claims of remorse,” Smeal stated.
Two of those who allegedly assisted Kopp, Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi, were arrested by federal authorities shortly after Kopp’s capture. Federal prosecutors, however, have reduced the charges against Marra and Malvasi in an effort to avoid trying the pair prior to Kopp’s trial. According to the prosecutors, trying Marra and Malvasi could imperil the Kopp prosecution. “With Kopp’s confession,” Smeal stated, “Marra and Malvasi certainly should not now receive a plea deal from the federal authorities and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to help shut down this terrorist network.”
The Buffalo News article states that Kopp claims he intended only to wound Dr. Slepian, and the article suggests that he will seek a lesser punishment. However, when Kopp was given the opportunity by the Buffalo News reporters to say that he would never shoot another doctorÑhe refused to say that he would not shoot again. “He should be sentenced to the longest term possible,” Smeal stated.
The Feminist Majority Foundation runs the nation’s oldest and largest clinic defense program. Founded in 1987, the FMF is dedicated to women’s equality and to ensuring the protection of women’s reproductive rights. For further information about the Feminist Majority Foundation, visit www.feminist.org.
To schedule interviews with Eleanor Smeal, contact Emile Karrick at 703.522.2214 or [email protected]###