Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Scott Roeder May Not Claim "Necessity" as a Defense to Terrorist Assassination

Motions were heard today in the terrorism trial of Scott Roeder. Carolyn Marie was in the courtroom and will post here analysis and comments soon. For now, we can tell you:

Change Of Venue - Denied The Defense had sought to change venue to another county (why they didn't have a venue study done is beyond us, or the results may not have been good). This was a LONG shot motion. No case in Kansas has ever been reversed for failure to grant a change of venue. Had the motion been granted then the trial would have been moved to another county in Kansas.

Motion in Limine on the Necessity Defense (State's Motion) - Granted Judge Wilbert gave an EXCELLENT analysis of the law in Kansas as to the common law defense of necessity. He granted the State's motion and ruled that Roeder will not be allowed to claim it was necessary to assassinate Dr. Tiller. We're sure Letch Leech will be whining soon. But the ruling was one based squarely on the law and not on what the antis would like the law to be.

The State tried to expand their motion to include the statutory defense of others and the ability to ask for a lesser offense instruction of voluntary manslaughter. Because those issues had not been briefed and the defense not been made aware of them the Court did not rule. However, his analysis of the "necessity" defense made it clear that the terrorist has a huge hurdle to meet if he has any hope of being allowed to use defense of others.