Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Ron, Wichita Eagle Reporter, kind soul for putting up with my texting for trial updates, taking Saturday phone calls from this annoying New Yorker, Sylvester, and I exchanged a brief set of texts this morning:
Andy: 1/15 10:08 am — hey ron…any word subpoena for tillers records?
Ron: 1/15 10:16 am – Nope.
Andy: 1/15 10:21 am – Thx for putting up with my questions
Ron: 1/15 10:23 am – NP. Lee Thompson, the Tiller’s lawyer, says he hasn’t heard anything either, and he would know.
Then Ron tweeted:
@rsylvester: ”Maybe they won’t push it since it has nothing to do with any conceivable defense.”
Quoting Lee Thompson.
He – Ron – is back in the courtroom, holding one of the 4 seats allotted for press during jury selection in the murder trail of Dr. George Tiller. I decided to leave him alone for a while, stop pestering him – let the man work.
But I can’t stop with the Tiller trial. There are so many moving parts, so much to fear and take heart in, it keeps me up some nights. I have been blogging constantly about this, here on OS and on my own blog. I am reading all the news that’s fit to print and transmit.
This trial is the reason I broke my longstanding self-imposed embargo against joining Twitter.
And that, my friends, is saying something.
Jury selection continues. It is slow going. This week after a delayed start to proceedings because of motions filed by four news outlets to open the court to the press for jury selection, things seem to be eeking along.
Then there was the subpoena filed by the defense, seeking access to Dr. Tiller’s personal records, including his date book with pending appointments scheduled. The defense claimed they wouldn’t release any names. They were seeking the records to determine how many unborn lives would have been saved — in Scott Roeder’s mind — to aid their defense.
My gut turns.
Not only because of the idea of building a defense around a claim of Voluntary Manslaughter for a clearly premeditated act of not only murder — but terror — but because I support Scott Roeder’s right to a vigorous defense.
What is wrong with me?!
I support this man, this killer, this cold blooded hunter’s right to a fair trial, for every possible stone to be overturned in building his case, the one that could result in 5 years instead of life.
It is not about what this man did. Kansas, stand up and take notice. You, Kansas, have a horribly broken law, you Kansas, need to fix this terrible mistake.
You need to shout it from rooftops. When this despicable trial is over, when justice has been served. You must work to repeal this as a mechanism for defense, because here is what you may be in for if Voluntary Manslaughter is what the jury finds. Based on Kansas law, by one of the two criteria, I - holding the unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force could murder in cold blood the following:
Members of Operation Rescue
Would I ever follow through on any of these?
Just the Red Sox one.
That is the tricky thing about a law like this — a law that allows broad interpretation about what one’s honest beliefs are. I have a lot of honest beliefs. But I don’t honestly believe any of them justify murder.