Life in prison. Possibility of parole after 50 years. Good riddance.
After a day-long hearing, Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert late today handed down a “Hard 50” sentence, requring Roeder serve at least 50 years before he can be considered for parole.
Roeder, 52, of Kansas City, was found guilty of first-degree murder on Jan. 29 after testifying at his trial that he shot Tiller in the forehead on May 31 while Tiller was serving as an usher in his church. An unapologetic Roeder told jurors he did so to save the lives of unborn babies.
Roeder faced a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, but prosecutors requested the so-called “Hard 50” sentence because of the heinous nature of the murder.
Let me be clear about one thing: I don’t think that this case is about abortion. This case is about a nutjob who used abortion as an excuse to execute a man in cold blood, in front of his children, in a house of worship. Anyone who tries to defend what he did with that “but he was trying to save the babies” argument is an idiot.
Roeder also testified that over the years, he’d considered other ways to stop Tiller from performing abortions, including cutting Tiller’s hands off with a sword, ramming Tiller’s car with his own, and taking a sniper shot at Tiller outside his clinic. But he said he ended up choosing to kill Tiller in his church because “it was the only window of opportunity that I saw where he could be stopped.”
Very clearly not a case of immanent danger, or a sudden mental snap. This guy stalked his target for years and thoroughly premeditated the crime.
I understand that abortion is a sensitive issue. I’m not very fond of it myself. But I fail to see how someone can be so strongly against abortion because he values the sanctity of life, but be willing to put a bullet through a man’s head in the middle of a church service. How is that piety?
And people who try to defend Roeder without really defending him bother me to no end. “Well, I don’t agree with his method, but …” is the preface to saying something stupid. If you condemn his methods, don’t try to apologize for his reasoning. It’s no different that people who claim to support US troops while rooting for their failure: it’s blatant hypocrisy and intellectually dishonest.
I hope Mr. Roeder makes some new friends very soon.