[Guest post by DRJ]
Jurors in Wichita, Kansas, took only 37 minutes to convict Scott Roeder for the murder of Dr. George Tiller:
“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 claimed he acted to protect the lives of unborn children who were in “immediate danger” because of Tiller. His attorneys hoped for a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter for Roeder, “a defense that would have required them to show that Roeder had an unreasonable but honest belief that deadly force was justified.” The Judge ruled the manslaughter charge could not be submitted to the jury because Roeder failed to show Tiller constituted an imminent threat.
Roeder could receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years. The prosecutor may also seek a so-called “Hard 50″ sentence that would require Roeder “serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.”