The actual translation of Exodus 20:13 from the Hebrew is, "Thou shalt not murder," indicating a premeditated, uncivil act.
The Bible considers murder the ultimate violation of the sanctity of human life, requiring the ultimate punishment. So Exodus 21:14 makes perfect sense to state, "If anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately," that person shall be "put to death."
I would have had no problem with late-term abortionist George Tiller being sentenced to death by a jury of his peers for committing thousands of murders of preborn children. In recent days both President Obama and his spokesman, Robert Gibbs, have endorsed the execution of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. KSM's actions were no more heinous than GT's.
But I did have a problem with Scott Roeder murdering Tiller. It was a premeditated, uncivil act.
A pocket of pro-lifers think killing abortionists is just because it stops them from murdering preborn babies when unjust laws or public officials won't. If one believes in the full humanity of the preborn, they say, use of force is as justified to save their lives as it would be to save a classroom of kindergartners from being murdered.
Scott Roeder was obviously a member of that camp.
Roeder's defense team wanted to show that Roeder "reasonably believe[d] … deadly force [was] necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to … a third person," according to Kansas law, the "third person[s]" being preborn children.
This "necessity" defense is anathema to both pro-aborts and the U.S. legal system thanks to abortion. Because abortion is legal, they say, preborn babies can't be legally harmed by abortion, so one cannot justify breaking the law to stop it.
Judge Warren Wilbert immediately squashed Roeder's "necessity" defense, as have American courts since 1973. They contort legal proceedings in every way possible to keep such a defense from ever getting off the ground. Had Roeder proven his case, a jury would have found him not guilty.
However, pro-aborts were horrified when Wilbert did allow Roeder's defense team a pre-trial attempt to show Roeder committed voluntary manslaughter, not first-degree murder.
Kansas law provides that voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of another human being committed "upon an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justify deadly force."
This defense rode on Roeder's state of mind. Even if Roeder were being "unreasonable," if it could be proven it was his "honest belief that circumstances existed that justify deadly force," he would receive a much lighter sentence, as little as 55 months in prison.
Pro-aborts went ballistic. Slate's Emily Bazelon called Wilbert's decision "a truly terrible interpretation of the criminal law," and that was one of the gentler complaints.
Wilbert's decision allowed additional evidence to be presented outside of the jury's earshot.
When the defense called former Kansas Attorney General and Johnson County State Attorney Phill Kline to the stand, Wilbert must have realized his folly.
Kline had attempted to prosecute Tiller for committing illegal abortions.
So if Kline could submit evidence in Roeder's case that Tiller had indeed committed illegal abortions, not legal abortions, then Roeder's force could have been seen as "reasonable" – and legal.
Or if Kline could show the jury that a massive amount of legal and political corruption had shielded Tiller from justice, Roeder's force could have been seen as "unreasonable but honest." Years and years of watching Tiller evade the law sent Roeder over the edge, so his defense would say.
But Wilbert apparently foresaw these scenarios unfolding and clamped down. He dismissed Kline without the jury ever hearing him.
And he told attorneys this case was not to be about abortion, saying, "I want to re-emphasize, we are not going to make this a referendum on abortion."
But of course this case was all about abortion. And a particular reason Roeder obsessed about Tiller was that he saw him evading justice. Here are three never released e-mails Roeder sent to ChargeTiller.com, an online petition campaign to pressure the Kansas legal system to prosecute Tiller:
Kansas City, Missouri
Mon March 12, 2007, 18:12:36
PUT TILLER BEHIND BARS WHERE HE MIGHT STOP, THINK AND REPENT OF ALL HIS SHEDDING OF INNOCENT BLOOD THAT CRIES OUT FROM THE GROUND! MAY THIS MURDERER BE BROUGHT DOWN BEFORE HIS CRIMES BRING DOWN THE JUDGMENT OF THE ALMIGHTY ON THIS NATION! ...
Kansas City, Missouri
Tue March 13, 2007, 20:26:48
PUT THIS MONSTER TILLER BEHIND BARS WHERE HE CAN'T MURDER ANY MORE OF OUR MOST INNOCENT UNBORN BABIES, WHO HAVE NO VOICE!!! ... PUT THIS HEINOUS BUTCHER BEHIND PRISON WALLS IN HOPES THAT THIS NATIONS' JUDGMENT WILL [BE] STAVED OFF. ONE OF THE SEVEN THINGS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HATES IS THE SHEDDING OF INNOCENT BLOOD !!! HEAVEN HELP US !!! US !!!
Kansas City, Missouri
Mon September 03, 2007, 09:49:40
It seems as though what is happening in Kansas could be compared to the "lawlessness" which is spoken of in the Bible. Tiller is the concentration camp "Mengele" of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation.
Clearly Roeder had a problem with Tiller's continued avoidance of justice.
Wilbert's final blow came after Roeder had taken the stand and confessed to everything, even though he could have pleaded the Fifth, thinking he was going to be allowed the voluntary manslaughter defense.
Wilbert went on to instruct the jury that its only options were to find Roeder guilty of first-degree murder or not guilty.
It took the jury only 37 minutes to determine Roeder was guilty. The sentence is life imprisonment.
And Judge Wilbert got his wish. Although Roeder had killed Tiller solely on the issue of abortion, the jury foreman told the Wichita Eagle:
[Abortion] was never spoken of," said the 54-year-old. …
He said the jury discussed only the question of whether Roeder was guilty of first-degree murder for shooting Tiller while Tiller served as an usher in his Wichita church, and whether Roeder was guilty of aggravated assault for pointing a handgun at two people who tried to block his escape.
Once again, success. The other side has encased abortion in a protective, bulletproof container, where no one or nothing can touch it. Not facts. Not science. Not even the right to due process.
Regardless of how we feel about the actions of Scott Roeder, this is still America.
And Roeder's trial once again shows that the only class of people who do not get their fair day in court are those who believe in the personhood of the preborn.