Friday, January 29, 2010

News Flash -- It's Illegal to Kill People

After a mere 37 minutes of deliberation, a jury convicted Scott Roeder first-degree murder for killing George R. Tiller.

The defendant had been permitted to testify that, in his mind, the killing was justified because the victim was a doctor who performed abortions. Ultimately, however, the judge didn't give the jury the option of finding the defendant guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

Thank you, jury. Abortion is controversial, but if we allowed people to get out of murder charges on the ground that they really thought it would be a public good to kill the victim, society would completely break down. It can't be a defense to murder that you didn't like the lawful activities the victim was engaged in.


Peter said...

I agree with you, of course, and am glad that Tiller was convicted.

But for Devil's Advocate reasons only I pose the following hypothetical questions:

1. Would you have acquitted the murderer of Dr. Mengele?

2. One man's criminal act is another man's civil disobedience. What would have happened, for instance, had Martin Luther King, Jr. not flouted the Jim Crow laws?

Jon Siegel said...

There's a difference between staging a nonviolent (albeit illegal) sit-in and killing someone.