The trial of the man accused of killing US abortion doctor George Tiller last year has taken a nasty twist.
The accused, Scott Roeder, has admitted shooting Tiller, but claims the act was justifiable, because it prevented the deaths of unborn children.
Incredibly, the trial judge has allowed Roeder’s defence team to put that partial defence to the jury.
Kansas law defines voluntary manslaughter as "an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force." According to the AP article on the Herald, if convicted of the lesser charge Roeder may face only five years imprisonment, rather than life behind bars.
If the jury buys this defence (and there seems a good chance they will – abortion is a topic that divides many people), a message will be sent to abortion activists throughout the US. Put yourselves in the shoes of a rabid and militant anti-abortion activist. Would you go to jail for a few years to defend the lives of the unborn? Perhaps you would.
So then, why not find an abortion doctor and gun them down? What have you to lose, other than five years? The payoff is immediate celebrity, and when you get out your fellow nutcase activists will treat you like a hero.