Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

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Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by RebLem » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:25 pm

Scott Roeder convicted of murdering abortion doctor George Tiller

A jury in Wichita deliberates for just over a half-hour before finding Roeder guilty. He had admitted that he shot Tiller, who performed late-term abortions, at a church in May.

By Robin Abcarian
January 29, 2010 | 9:12 a.m. | Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Wichita, Kan. -
In a trial that never became the referendum on abortion that some abortion foes wanted, Scott Roeder, a 51-year-old airport shuttle driver, was convicted today of murdering George Tiller, one the nation's few physicians who performed late-term abortions.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for only 37 minutes. Roeder faces life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder.

Roeder also was convicted on two counts of aggravated assault for threatening to shoot church ushers Keith Martin and Gary Hoepner as he fled Reformation Lutheran Church after murdering Tiller.

Whether Roeder shot Tiller at point-blank range in the forehead at Tiller's church in Wichita last May was never at issue; Roeder had admitted it to reporters, in court filings and finally to a jury on Thursday. He also said he had been stalking Tiller since at least 1999.

"I have never seen a state's case and a defense case that so neatly dovetail," said prosecutor Anne Swegle, noting that Roeder admitted systematically stalking Tiller before calmly approaching him in church, pressing a gun to his forehead and firing a .22-caliber slug into his brain. "He was totally remorseless in delivering to you his version of events," Swegle told the jury.

Roeder, the only witness called by the defense, said he felt relief after shooting Tiller on May 31. After the murder, he drove toward Kansas City, stopping for a pizza along the way.

Roeder had wanted to claim the crime was justifiable homicide, based on his belief that abortion -- in every case -- is murder. But Sedgwick County Judge Warren Wilbert said he could not claim he acted out of necessity. Abortion rights groups became alarmed when Roeder's attorneys asked the judge to allow the jury to consider convicting Roeder of voluntary manslaughter. At the end of testimony Thursday, Wilbert ruled that the jury could only consider premeditated, first-degree murder.

Roeder is also the subject of a Justice Department investigation, and he could face federal charges in connection with the murder.

The conviction brings a kind of closure to the city of Wichita, which became a center of the anti-abortion movement in the late 1980s and 1990s.

After a religious conversion in 1992, Roeder became active in a network of abortion foes, some of whom have been convicted of violent acts against abortion providers.

Tiller, 67, who was beloved by his patients, was a victim numerous times.

In 1986, his clinic, Women's Health Care Services, was firebombed.

In 1991, the clinic became a focus of protest in the so-called "Summer of Mercy." Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators were arrested as they tried to blockade his clinic.

In 1993, anti-abortion activist Rachelle Shannon shot Tiller in both arms as he left the clinic. He was back at work the next day.

Roeder testified Thursday that he befriended Shannon, who is in prison in Kansas.

"I admired her," Roeder said.

In 2002, the head of Operation Rescue, a group dedicated to ending abortion using confrontational tactics, moved to Wichita. Its president, Troy Newman, said his goal was to put Tiller out of business.

Many of Tiller's patients were women who discovered late in pregnancy that their fetuses were severely compromised by genetic anomalies. But he also terminated the pregnancies of women who might suffer psychological harm if their pregnancies went to term. Under Kansas law, such abortions were legal as long as two doctors, independent of one another, signed off on the procedures.

After Tiller was murdered, his wife announced his clinic would close for good.

Advocates on both sides of the abortion divide found themselves squeezed together on the hard courtroom benches during the trial, which began last Friday with the prosecution's opening statements. Officials from the National Abortion Federation and the Feminist Majority Foundation sat with anti-abortion extremists, some of whom have spent substantial time in prison for violence against abortion clinics.

robin.abcarian@latimes.com

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and- ... 0089.story
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:08 pm

Someone forgot to tell him it's okay to murder before the trip through the birth canal, but a big no, no after you make the journey through the birth canal.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:29 pm

Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:40 pm

Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder a legal murderer. They asked him how he felt after he shot the abortionist and he replied, "Relieved." Obviously he knew the price he would pay for murder and he decided he would lay down his life for the lives of the unborn.

Tragically, I would have convicted him as well. But I would live with the guilt of doing so the rest of my life.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:43 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder
and try to get away without being punished for it (p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:47 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder a legal murderer. They asked him how he felt after he shot the abortionist and he replied, "Relieved." Obviously he knew the price he would pay for murder and he decided he would lay down his life for the lives of the unborn.

Tragically, I would have convicted him as well. But I would live with the guilt of doing so the rest of my life.
Understood. Roeder won't have to lay down his life; life in prison sounds reasonable.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:51 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder
and try to get away without being punished for it (p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
The larger issue still remains - is a fetus a human being? Legally, the current answer is no; ethically, the answer is up for grabs.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:25 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
(p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
I agree 100% and pray enough people decide we want to live in a civilized country and will no longer tolerate destroying the innocent.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:29 pm

Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder
and try to get away without being punished for it (p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
The larger issue still remains - is a fetus a human being? Legally, the current answer is no; ethically, the answer is up for grabs.
You need to answer what makes a person human? Is it the trip through the birth canal that magically transforms one from fetus with no rights to human with complete rights?
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

Tiger
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Tiger » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:38 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder
and try to get away without being punished for it (p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
The larger issue still remains - is a fetus a human being? Legally, the current answer is no; ethically, the answer is up for grabs.
You need to answer what makes a person human? Is it the trip through the birth canal that magically transforms one from fetus with no rights to human with complete rights?
I don't think that answers here are as simple as you want them to be. By the way, you sure are interested in the birth canal.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:45 pm

keaggy220 wrote: You need to answer what makes a person human? Is it the trip through the birth canal that magically transforms one from fetus with no rights to human with complete rights?
Of course not. Caesarean section accomplishes the same thing. :wink:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:04 pm

Tiger wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Tiger wrote:Glad to hear that the jury convicted him, although I do wonder if he was just an extremist muderer or a nut-case.
I saw part of his testimony. He's perfectly sane and from what I understand he was a model citizen all his life. He just decided he wanted to illegally murder
and try to get away without being punished for it (p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
The larger issue still remains - is a fetus a human being? Legally, the current answer is no; ethically, the answer is up for grabs.
You need to answer what makes a person human? Is it the trip through the birth canal that magically transforms one from fetus with no rights to human with complete rights?
I don't think that answers here are as simple as you want them to be. By the way, you sure are interested in the birth canal.
The birth canal is what the Supreme Court made the deciding factor for human rights or no human rights. A short passage from nothingness to everything. I do find that interesting.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:57 pm

Was there ever any doubt?
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:07 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Was there ever any doubt?
It was one of those deals where the press got mileage from some supposed indications that there was a chance it could go another way (I posted on this myself maybe ten days ago). The problem is that one (at least the one who is writing this) is never certain when they're just juicing up a story and when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things. I also thought early on that Kristen Gillibrand was just a figment of the local press's imagination (actually at that stage she probably was), and look what happened there.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:11 pm

jbuck919 wrote:when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things.
There hasn't been that much twist since Chubby Checker left the top pop charts.

When was the last time you heard of a cut and dried murder case, esp. where the perp confesses on the stand, with a graphic description of how he committed the murder, that didn't result in a conviction?
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:18 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things.
There hasn't been that much twist since Chubby Checker left the top pop charts.

When was the last time you heard of a cut and dried murder case, esp. where the perp confesses on the stand, with a graphic description of how he committed the murder, that didn't result in a conviction?
Dan White, and that was a double murder. (The lucky thing in the present case is that they took manslaughter off the table, which was not the case when I made my earlier post.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:41 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things.
There hasn't been that much twist since Chubby Checker left the top pop charts.

When was the last time you heard of a cut and dried murder case, esp. where the perp confesses on the stand, with a graphic description of how he committed the murder, that didn't result in a conviction?
Dan White, and that was a double murder.
Is that the Dan White of the Twinkie defense? That was San Francisco, ya know! Not normal people like live in Kansas.
(The lucky thing in the present case is that they took manslaughter off the table, which was not the case when I made my earlier post.)
The judge did that yesterday. FNC reported yesterday in the same segment that the guy had been planning to kill Tiller for years, even contemplated various means and methods of doing it after he decided it wasn't enough to only maim the guy by chopping off his hands because he could still teach. There wasn't any ambiguity about the facts in the case, not to mention the witnesses in the church who saw him do it. IOW there was no chance this guy was going to beat the wrap. Besides, I don't think he wanted to. I think he wanted to be a martyr to the cause.
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Ralph » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:44 am

This murderer is perfectly sane as defined by both law and medicine. He sees himself as a modern day John Brown, also a coldblooded killer whose life some revisionist historians are trying to present as worthy.

Abortion is a deeply divisive subject and for many the termination of a fetus is murder. They have a right to their view. But we live under a system of laws and with extraordinary ability to speak, assemble and protest. There are lines which may not ever be crossed, no matter the passion or the religious impulse.

I do wonder why it took 37 minutes to come to a guilty verdict and can only assume that several jurors needed to hit the bathroom before returning to court.
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by RebLem » Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:57 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things.
There hasn't been that much twist since Chubby Checker left the top pop charts.

When was the last time you heard of a cut and dried murder case, esp. where the perp confesses on the stand, with a graphic description of how he committed the murder, that didn't result in a conviction?
Especially when he reveals that on his flight away from Wichita, he stopped for a pizza. Apparently, his digestion was not at all affected by the murder. That's pretty cold.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:02 pm

RebLem wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:when they're setting the stage for a real twist in things.
There hasn't been that much twist since Chubby Checker left the top pop charts.

When was the last time you heard of a cut and dried murder case, esp. where the perp confesses on the stand, with a graphic description of how he committed the murder, that didn't result in a conviction?
Especially when he reveals that on his flight away from Wichita, he stopped for a pizza. Apparently, his digestion was not at all affected by the murder. That's pretty cold.
He said he was relieved after killing the abortionist. My digestion is usually better when I'm in a relaxed state.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Dennis Spath » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:55 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
(p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
I agree 100% and pray enough people decide we want to live in a civilized country and will no longer tolerate destroying the innocent.
Unfortunately Keaggy we cannot stop God from doing so as He does millions of times every day, as 35-40% or more of fertilized ovum fail to adhere to the vaginal wall....and then there are those additional tens of millions each year called "misscarriages" or "Acts of God" which once were assigned to Limbo in Christian folklore.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:59 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
(p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
I agree 100% and pray enough people decide we want to live in a civilized country and will no longer tolerate destroying the innocent.
Unfortunately Keaggy we cannot stop God from doing so as He does millions of times every day, as 35-40% or more of fertilized ovum fail to adhere to the vaginal wall....and then there are those additional tens of millions each year called "misscarriages" or "Acts of God" which once were assigned to Limbo in Christian folklore.
What does your post have to do with abortionists ripping babies out of wombs?
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by Dennis Spath » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:15 pm

keaggy220 wrote:
Dennis Spath wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
(p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
I agree 100% and pray enough people decide we want to live in a civilized country and will no longer tolerate destroying the innocent.
Unfortunately Keaggy we cannot stop God from doing so as He does millions of times every day, as 35-40% or more of fertilized ovum fail to adhere to the vaginal wall....and then there are those additional tens of millions each year called "misscarriages" or "Acts of God" which once were assigned to Limbo in Christian folklore.
What does your post have to do with abortionists ripping babies out of wombs?
Just theology (the Natural Law argument) and how the U.S. legal system has long defined what it is to be a "Human Being" for Life Insurance and other purposes.....viability outside the womb.
It's good to be back among friends from the past.

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by pizza » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:41 pm

Many states have fetal homicide statutes. The law in several of these states defines a person to include an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability. In some states one can be convicted of murder for the unlawful killing of a fetus.

In some states, civil wrongful death actions can also be maintained on behalf the estate of the fetus.


http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabId=14386

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Re: Wichita jury convicts Scott Roeder of Dr. Tiller murder

Post by keaggy220 » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:48 pm

Dennis Spath wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
Dennis Spath wrote:
keaggy220 wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
(p.s. there is no such thing as "legal murder").
I agree 100% and pray enough people decide we want to live in a civilized country and will no longer tolerate destroying the innocent.
Unfortunately Keaggy we cannot stop God from doing so as He does millions of times every day, as 35-40% or more of fertilized ovum fail to adhere to the vaginal wall....and then there are those additional tens of millions each year called "misscarriages" or "Acts of God" which once were assigned to Limbo in Christian folklore.
What does your post have to do with abortionists ripping babies out of wombs?
Just theology (the Natural Law argument) and how the U.S. legal system has long defined what it is to be a "Human Being" for Life Insurance and other purposes.....viability outside the womb.
I'd like to see how viable an "outside the womb" infant is without the constant care and interaction of an adult.
"I guess we're all, or most of us, the wards of the nineteenth-century sciences which denied existence of anything it could not reason or explain. The things we couldn't explain went right on but not with our blessing... So many old and lovely things are stored in the world's attic, because we don't want them around us and we don't dare throw them out."
— John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent


"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
- Micah 6:8

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