Commentary: Scott Roeder's 'defense' is indefensible

Scott Roeder dwells in the Sedgwick County Jail these days, awaiting trial early next year on charges that he gunned down George Tiller in a Wichita church in May. But judging from Roeder's unrepentant confessions to the murder this week in the media, Roeder also lives in some other world in which a cold-blooded killing can be justified by the cockamamie excuse of his choosing.

"Defending innocent life — that is what prompted me. It is pretty simple," he told Associated Press.

"Preborn children were in imminent danger," he told the Kansas City Star.

Everybody gets it by now — Roeder strongly opposes abortion and especially objected to Tiller's Wichita practice, with its focus on late-term abortion.

But Tiller's practice was legal under the law, despite the best efforts of a former Kansas attorney general and several grand juries to demonstrate otherwise over many years.

The actions to which Roeder now has confessed in the media violate both law and conscience.

Local pro-life groups also reject Roeder's claim that the murder was justifiable.

And his public defender says that the "necessity defense" isn't even allowed in Kansas. Indeed, it was rejected by Kansas' appellate courts related to abortion in 1993 and 2007.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Wichita Eagle.