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Friday, January 08, 2010

Will jurors' abortion views matter in Roeder trial?


Scott Roeder -- the KC man charged with killing abortion provider George Tiller -- goes on trial next week in Wichita. About 60 potential jurors will be questioned by attorneys on Monday as the selection process continues, the Eagle's Ron Sylvester reports. (We'll link to the big developments, but Ron will also have a Twitter feed from the courthouse here.)

The defense had asked the judge to prevent prosecutors from rejecting a juror based simply on that person's abortion views. The judge didn't really give a ruling, so it looks like they'll deal with the matter as it comes up.

Roeder has admitted to reporters that he pulled the trigger. His only defense lies with convincing the jury that he was somehow justified in doing so, because he was trying to save unborn children. (Which might not save him from prison -- but it could qualify him for conviction of a lesser crime, like manslaughter.) He really needs jurors with pro-life views if he's going to pull that off.

I'm not so sure that strategy is going to work. Judging from comments here on CSKC, there are a lot of pro-life people out there who -- as much as they might hate abortion -- don't like men who assassinate church door greeters, either.

But I'll put the question to you: Should prosecutors strike a potential juror based on that person's abortion views?


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