Saturday, April 03, 2010

Church As Murder Location Amounts to Aggravating Circumstance In Sentencing

On Thursday, a Kansas judge sentenced Scott Roeder, convicted killer of abortion doctor George Tiller, to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years. Yesterday's Topeka Capital-Journal points out that in imposing sentence, the judge concluded that the fact the murder was committed in a church was an aggravating circumstance. Kansas law lists as an aggravating circumstance the fact that "defendant committed the crime in an especially heinous, atrocious or cruel manner." Judge Warren Wilbert said that a church is supposed to be a place of peace and tranquility. During sentencing, defendant Roeder responded that he didn't consider the building a church because its congregants did not hold Tiller accountable for performing abortions. He called it a "synagogue of Satan." (See prior related posting.)