No over ever doubted that Scott Roeder murdered Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Roeder confessed to the crime. The question was whether Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert would allow jurors to consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter based on Roeder’s belief that he killed Tiller in order to save the lives of unborn babies. He told the court that the "easiest" way to achieve his goal was to "walk into Tiller's church, put a gun to the doctor's forehead and pull the trigger." Roeder added, "Those children were in immediate danger if someone did not stop George Tiller." During his closing arguments, defense attorney Mark Rudy begged the jury to reject the murder charge, saying, "No one should be convicted based on his convictions."
From Huffington Post: Jurors swiftly convicted an abortion opponent of murder Friday for shooting to death one of the only doctors to offer late-term abortions in the U.S., a killing the gunman claimed was justified to save the lives of unborn children. The jury deliberated for just 37 minutes before finding Scott Roeder, 51, of Kansas City, Mo., guilty of premeditated, first-degree murder for putting a gun to the forehead of Dr. George Tiller on May 31 and pulling the trigger. Defense attorney Mark Rudy described his case as helpless and hopeless. "I've never seen anyone lay himself out as much as Mr. Roeder did," Rudy said after the verdict, referring to his client's confessions. Roeder faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years when he is sentenced March 9. Prosecutor Nola Foulston said she would pursue a so-called "Hard 50" sentence, which would require Roeder to serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.
I'm not a supporter of the death penalty - and definitely not in this case. Religious conservatives would have turned this cretin into a martyr. I'd like to think Roeder's quick conviction would serve as a warning to other anti-choice radicals. But of course it won't.