The trial of the man accused of fatally shooting late-term abortionist George Tiller was set to begin Friday – on the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to legalize abortion nationwide.
Prosecutors believe Roeder should be convicted of first-degree murder and be handed a life sentence.
The defense will be trying to build a case for a conviction on a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
To be clear, Voluntary Manslaughter in the State of Kansas, is one of two things. Either the person had reasonable belief that he was preventing the murder of an innocent person, or, the person was provoked to a point of absolute, unbearable provocation that they acted in a violent manner. Something like "Temporary Insanity", also known as a "Crime of Passion."
"Murder" we still hang for here. (Though we haven't hanged anyone since the 60's.)
If, "SAM" believes that his neighbor is fooling around with his wife, walks next door and shoots him dead, that is "murder" in this State.
If, SAM comes home early and finds his neighbor in bed with his wife, and shoots him dead, that is "Voluntary Manslaughter".
The distinction between the two, has nothing whatsoever to do with the shooting. It has to do with whether or not, "SAM" was so unbearably distraught, that he was deemed "provoked" to violence in the eyes of any reasonable person.
That is the law.
(Actually, 9 out of 10 times, that is viewed as "Justifyable Homicide" and "SAM" goes back home that evening.) But that is beside the point.
It is important to remember, that "ABORTION" is not on trial here.
The question is: "Does a man have a defense, when he has acted in a violent manner, out of extreme distress, or to save the life of another human being"?
The outcome of this trial will have very serious ramifications with regard to our rights to defend ourselves and others in this state.