Archive for Monday, February 8, 2010

Roeder’s attorneys seek new trial or order of acquittal for man convicted of killing George Tiller

February 8, 2010


— Attorneys for a man convicted of murdering a high-profile abortion provider have asked a judge for a new trial or their client’s acquittal, arguing the judge was wrong when he failed to instruct jurors that they could consider the lesser offense of voluntary manslaughter.

A motion made public Monday also details a litany of adverse rulings against the defense during the murder case against Scott Roeder for the May 31 shooting death of Dr. George Tiller.

Such motions are routine, but important in preserving the court record on appeal issues. It is unlikely District Judge Warren Wilbert will reverse himself on his own rulings when he hears arguments on it on March 9, the same day he sentences Roeder for first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Of far greater importance will be the opinion of the Kansas Supreme Court when it ultimately considers during the appeal whether the judge erred in keeping jurors from considering a voluntary manslaughter conviction — a decision that will shape the handling of homicide cases in Kansas for years to come. The high court will review the case because Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder.

In addition to contending the court may have erred in instructing jurors on the so-called voluntary manslaughter “imperfect self defense or defense of others,” the motion argued the court also may have erred in granting a prosecution motion to ban the so-called necessity defense, which may have led to an outright acquittal.

Other arguments for a new trial included adverse rulings to the defense involving motions to reconsider bond, throwing out subpoenas of defense witnesses, denial of a change of venue and various objections during trial, to name a few.

Roeder’s attorneys built their case — including putting their client on the witness stand — on the hope that Wilbert would allow jurors to consider a conviction on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter because Roeder sincerely believed he was defending unborn children.

Kansas law defines voluntary manslaughter as “an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.”

But Wilbert rejected such a jury instruction on that lesser charge after ruling the defense failed show during its case that the doctor posed an “imminent threat” — by an objective standard — in the foyer of his church on a Sunday morning.

A key issue in the appeal will be whether imminent threat should be decided on an objective basis as ruled by the judge or on a subjective basis — as Roeder’s attorneys argued in claiming their client believed the threat was imminent.


skinny 8 years ago

Ya, like that is going to happen. The man will spend the rest of his life behind bars!

Nick Yoho 8 years ago

He is a terrorist and should be tried as such.

madcow 8 years ago

Sounds like a waste of time and tax dollars.

Mel Briscoe 8 years ago

hey, roeder's attorneys, see that dead horse? stop beating it.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Time for somebody to take a ride on Old Sparky.

Kontum1972 8 years ago

mr attorney u should join him....murder is murder what if it would of been your brother or wife? I guess then it would be ok..then u could go visit him and have some cell time's some cheese for u.

Jeff Kilgore 8 years ago

Had the charge ever been reduced to manslaughter, then a choice supporter could shoot him because he or she would have obvious reason to believe that Mr R. would shoot another abortion doctor.

But I agree. Mr. R. is now a martyr for a cause that would not even had to have occurred if the RU-486 pill were distributed cheaply as it should be.

Kelly Johnson 8 years ago

He admitted on the stand that he murdered him. He also admitted that he'd been planning it for years. Maybe I'm missing something, but that seems to meet the criteria for first degree murder.

compmd 8 years ago

As much as we may despise Roeder, this is his right.

Christine Anderson 8 years ago

Maybe, maybe not Tom. Depends on the political leanings of his fellow inmates.( No, I do not approve of Roeder's actions.) The short time I was in a prison in Leavenworth( as a nurse), I observed that Italian/American and Mexican Mafia get the most respect of all the inmates. Followed by those who believe that the killing(s) they were convicted of were justified. Also observed that other inmates were encouraging Robert "Doc" Courtney to save his rx meds and feed them to child rapist/murderer Keith Nelson. Now, if that had happened while I worked there, I would not have seen or heard anything.

Liberty275 8 years ago

"mr attorney u should join him"

I think all attorneys should suffer the same fate/penalty as the people the represent. It's only fair, really. The ambulance chasers get money every time their client does. Defence attorney's should get prison time if they lose a case too.

"Here some the extremist nuts. "

Its only extreme nuts if you like attorneys.

"As much as we may despise Roeder, this is his right."

Wonderful. Among the utter hatefest some American comes along and points out the abortion doctor's killer has the same rights to the judicial system that everyone else has. Why can't you just be a sheep and say he should just be murdered?

Won't someone think of the dead children?

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III 8 years ago

If there is one thing that you can count on this Supreme Court to do, it is to support abortion providers 100%. Roeder will get nothing but a cold shoulder from them.

Cait McKnelly 8 years ago

Uhlrick_Hetfield_III (Anonymous) says…

If there is one thing that you can count on this Supreme Court to do, it is to support abortion providers 100%. Roeder will get nothing but a cold shoulder from them.

That's because abortion providers provide a legal service and engage in legal activity. All this country has is the law and without it there would be chaos and anarchy. I think Roeder is the scum of the earth and a domestic terrorist but he has the same rights to the legal system that you or any other citizen of this country have.

jonas_opines 8 years ago

"And Tiller killed kids in their minds"

No, in your mind. I would think that you'd want to keep your mind and convicted felons' minds seperated, even in a theoretical sense.

I think you think everybody thinks like you think.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.