On May 31, 2009, a man walked into a Wichita church and shot another man point-blank in the face.
That must remain the central fact of the trial scheduled to begin this week in Sedgwick County, where Scott Roeder, of Kansas City, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of George Tiller.
Roeder's defense team will seek to make the trial about Tiller's work as a physician who performed late-term abortions. The judge should not give them that leeway.
Judge Warren Wilbert has correctly denied Roeder's motion to use a "necessity defense," and claim that he killed Tiller to prevent a greater harm.
But it was puzzling and disturbing last week to see the judge open the door to a voluntary manslaughter conviction. Wilbert said he would allow testimony that Roeder acted on an "unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force."
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