Scott Roeder argued that killing Dr. George Tiller was necessary to prevent future abortions. A manslaughter verdict would have brought a much lesser sentence, but the jury quickly convicted him of murder – which brings a life sentence.
The trial of a man charged with killing an abortion doctor in Kansas opened Friday on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion rights. A precedent could be set if the defendant is allowed to argue he believed deadly force was needed to save the lives of unborn children.
Scott Roeder insists he was justified in killing an abortion doctor because it prevented more abortions. His lawyers argue they should be allowed to use the so-called necessity defense. Jury selection is expected to take place this week.
The attack, which killed one, is the third fatal shooting by an extremist in 10 days.
In 1996, a Kansan with the same name was arrested with bombmaking materials in his car trunk.