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Roeder Murder Trial Continues on Second Day

The trial of Scott Roeder, who has confessed to allegedly murdering George Tiller, MD, in May 2009, is continuing into its second day today. Thus far, the trial has focused on the testimony of prosecution witnesses who were present at the church on the day of the murder or who saw Roeder previously at the church, reported the LA Times. The judge in the case ruled earlier this month that Roeder can pursue a voluntary manslaughter defense. Roeder has attempted to justify the murder as necessary to save the lives of fetuses that would be aborted. Feminist Majority Foundation Executive Vice President Kathy Spillar is attending the trial and remarked that “The prosecution is systematically putting forward evidence that shows Roeder methodically planned the murder of Dr. Tiller. Roeder repeatedly came to Tiller’s church – stretching over several months at least as far back as the summer of 2008. Roeder even conducted a dry-run at the church the evening before (on May 30) – even backing his car into a parking spot for easy get-away just as he did the day he murdered Dr. Tiller.” Spillar continued, “The defense has spent little time attempting to impeach the testimony of any of the witnesses – instead they have focused their questions on whether Dr. Tiller and his medical practice were a source of controversy. We find it outrageous that this kind of questioning is allowed. Clearly, the defense is attempting to come through the backdoor and set the stage for a defense based on Roeder’s beliefs – a defense that could result in a manslaughter conviction.” “We’re here in Wichita to see justice done,” Spillar said. “Even as this trial proceeds, we are urging the Department of Justice to conduct a rigorous investigation into the network of extremists Roeder appears to be associated with – some of whom are here in Wichita to support him. Until the network of extremists that promotes the killing of doctors is prosecuted and dismantled, we will see more murders.” Roeder has been charged with one count of pre-meditated murder and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly threatening church ushers immediately after the murder. Roeder could receive life in prison if he is found guilty of first-degree murder or he could receive a shorter sentence of as little as 55 months if the jury finds him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

Sources:

Interview with Kathy Spillar 1/25/10; LA Times 1/23/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/13/10

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