Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The witness list got a little more interesting

I apologize for not posting about Roeder's last pre-trial hearing. My life suddenly got very weird. Roeder has another pre-trial hearing this Friday. The prosecutor's office is adding 10 new names to their witness list including Roeder's brother, David, to whom he spoke shortly before shooting Dr. Tiller.

KlineBut it's another witness that'll show this trial to be more of a circus. Former Attorney General Phill Kline has been subpoenaed to testify by the defense. Two options here: they are either trying to say Dr. Tiller did, indeed, break the law; or they are saying Kline's fishing expedition drove Roeder over the edge. Roeder has said that the lack of conviction of Dr. Tiller in March compelled him to take action (and the posts on Operation Rescue's website also indicate this). Kline's persecution was bound to lead to more than legal troubles for Dr. Tiller.

For those who don't know, Phill Kline was elected Attorney General largely because he promised to go after people who raped underage girls (I have a problem with "child rape" as a phrase) and a few other tried-and-true neo-con tricks to get in (that and he's Republican ... though the Democrat who ran against him came pretty close to winning, but that's another story). Shortly after taking office, he schemed to close down Women's Health Care Services in Wichita and Planned Parenthood in Kansas City, two abortion clinics in the state (at the time, there were two others). His team lied to state agencies, a judge, and a grand jury for this expedition. He said he was going after underage girls having abortions and was also going after underage girls giving birth saying both indicate a crime has been committed (even though he was the only Attorney General to rule that way). But he only ever went after girls who had abortions. He sent his people to both clinics to take pictures of patients' cars and got hotel records so he could assign names to redacted medical files (way to go, privacy!). And when he finally filed charges, only 1/4 of them were for girls -- mostly, he went after late abortions.

He lost his re-election in 2006 to Paul Morrison who left office for having an extramarital affair with one of Kline's employees. Morrison's replacement, Steven Six, filed different charges dealing with technicalities. It was these charges that Dr. Tiller was cleared of last March. In addition to that grand jury, there was another petition-driven grand jury that found no evidence of wrong-doing by Dr. Tiller. In other words, every attempt by Phill Kline to shut Dr. Tiller and Planned Parenthood failed. Except for the secondary intention of these: to make both clinics unpopular. That Kline went on The O'Reilly Factor shows this wasn't about tackling crime but bring down Dr. Tiller. And he succeeded. The State of Kansas has accused two of Kline's aides, Stephen Maxwell and Eric Rucker, of violating ethics standards.

Quite the circus ...

No comments:

Post a Comment