As he prepares for a court hearing Tuesday, Scott Roeder, the man accused of shooting Dr. George Tiller in the foyer of his church in June, says he’s full of “relief and joy” over the murder of the Wichita abortion provider. In interviews with the Kansas City Star, Roeder, who is in a Sedgwick County, Kansas, lockup, said he’d been thinking about killing abortion doctors since 1992. He praised Paul Hill, who shot and killed an abortion provider in Pensacola, Florida, in 1994 and was executed for the murder in 2003, and he described several visits to Shelley Shannon, the woman who shot and wounded Tiller back in 1993 and is currently serving 20 years for a series of abortion clinic bombings and arsons.
Roeder believes that these acts qualify as justifiable homicide, explaining to Star reporter Judy Thomas: “When a policeman shoots somebody on the street, for example, and stops somebody from taking the life of innocent people, that’s violence, and everybody’s fine with that,” he said. Since the murder of Dr. Tiller, he said, “I’ve heard that three women have actually changed their minds and had their babies because there’s no availability here,” he said. “Wichita has been abortion-free since that time." He added, “That’s total elation.”
Scott Roeder stops short of stating that he is the man responsible for what he considers the heroic act of killing Dr. Tiller, instead saying that “For the man accused of this, things fell together for that day,” and the shooting “would have been earlier if things had panned out.” Such almost coyly circumspect statements can hardly help Roeder’s case, and his attorney, Steve Osburn, would make no comment on his client’s defense strategy. But Roeder himself raised the possibility of introducing “jury nullification,” which holds that if a jury concludes the law is wrong, it can take matters into its own hands, overriding instructions from the judge, to deliver its own version of justice.