Finally, one of these anti-abortion extremists is held accountable in a big way. They're domestic terrorists and should be treated as such:
Defiant in court, a man who murdered one of the few U.S. doctors who performed late-term abortions used his sentencing hearing to do what the judge wouldn't let him do during his trial — justify his crime by describing abortion in gritty detail.
Scott Roeder was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years, the harshest sentence possible under Kansas law for gunning down Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of the Wichita physician's church last May.
"I stopped him so he could not dismember another innocent baby," Roeder said. "Wichita is a far safer place for unborn babies without George Tiller."
Roeder, 52, also was sentenced to an additional year in prison on each of two counts of aggravated assault for threatening two church ushers as he fled. With time off for good behavior, Roeder won't be eligible for parole for 51 years and eight months.
An attorney for Tiller, speaking in court as a friend of the slain doctor, said the toughest sentence would discourage other anti-abortion zealots from attacking doctors. Tiller's widow, Jeanne, cried as the sentence for murder was announced.
"We only can hope that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to those who have conspired and continue to conspire to murder abortion providers," the Tiller family said in a statement. "Certainly everything possible should be done by the prison system to insure that this man does not continue to foment hatred and violence from his prison cell."