Thursday, February 11, 2010

Some thoughts...

Scott Roeder was convicted of murdering Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider in Kansas, on January 29th. His lawyers attempted to have him prosecuted for voluntary manslaughter rather than first degree murder by claiming that he held an "unreasonable but honest belief" that deadly force was justified. He was the only defense witness. The jury took 37 minutes to find him guilty.

Here's what I think, from a legal standpoint (though I am no expert on criminal defense): that defense almost never works. I don't know what the lawyers were thinking. He might as well plead insanity because that would have at least been more believable.

Does anyone think that he can make a 6th Amendment challenge for ineffective assistance of counsel? It might be worth a shot.

On a side note: this man should rot in prison.


Blair said...

I just found your blog for the first time. I was "blog-hoping." :) Your top 5s are way fun.

I'd love for you to visit my blog too. I'm hosting a spring blog swap and would love for you to participate.

Hope you have a great night!

Plastic Redhead said...

I agree with you, the man should rot in prison!

nice blog, like blair here, I'm adoring the top 5s :3

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Stephen Reynolds said...

Yeah, I'm definitely pro life, and that guy should rot in prison!

Will said...

What! I actually thought it was a really clever defense attempt. I mean, insanity wouldn't work in this situation because the defendant knew exactly what he was doing and was of relatively sound mind. He honestly, but unreasonably, believed what he was doing was right and necessary for the defense of others. This is classic imperfect self-defense/defense of others. What else were they going to do?
I bet he claims ineffective assistance, but under Strickland v. Washington, I can't see how he wins. The government will argue it was a reasonable defense strategy (as I tried to do above) and with heavy deference to trial counsel, defendant will be sitting in prison for a long long time.