In a trial that never became the referendum on abortion that some abortion foes wanted, Scott Roeder, a 51-year-old airport shuttle driver, was convicted today of murdering George Tiller, one the nation's few physicians who performed late-term abortions.
The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for only 37 minutes. Roeder faces life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder.
Roeder also was convicted on two counts of aggravated assault for threatening to shoot church ushers Keith Martin and Gary Hoepner as he fled Reformation Lutheran Church after murdering Tiller.
Roeder tried to claim that the murder was justifiable homicide, as he was protecting the "unborn." That, of course, ignores the very real medical reasons why a woman may be forced to terminate a late term pregnancy.
In his testimony, Roeder acknowledged that he did not believe an abortion was warranted even when the life of the woman was at risk. That's the same kind of fanaticism that led him to walk into a church and shoot a man in the head.