Attorneys, no matter how vile their clients may be, are required to give them the best possible defense.
When the client is obviously guilty, as in the case of Scott Roeder, the man who gunned down Dr. George Tiller in the middle of Sunday services at a Wichita church, the lawyer has to reach for something, anything, to put his client in a better light.
That being said, when Roeder’s attorney compared his client to Rosa Parks during closing arguments, he crossed the line.
The comparison was based on the attorney’s claim that Roeder’s point-blank execution of Dr. Tiller was something he did due to his strong belief that abortion is wrong, therefore it must be the same as Mrs. Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus in December 1955.
I have been amazed by the lack of outrage at this statement. The attorney also compared Roeder to Martin Luther King.
Let me see if I have this straight.
Scott Roeder stalked George Tiller for months, shot him in the head, injured other people, and testified that he felt a sense of relief after he pulled the trigger, murdering a man in front of his family and in the middle of a house of worship. And a lawyer, with a straight face, is comparing him to Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King?
It is impossible to imagine Mrs. Parks or Dr. King pulling a trigger to achieve their ends. It is also impossible to picture them as hypocrites- the kind of people who sanctimoniously claim they are pro-life, but who are willing to kill anyone who stands in their way.
Thankfully, the Kansas jury did not buy Roeder’s attorney’s brand of nonsense. It only took 37 minutes for the panel to find Roeder guilty of murder.
Obviously, Scott Roeder was a man who believed in what he was doing. People who do evil things often do and they seldom see themselves as evil.
Making comparisons between a cold-blooded murder and the achievements of some of America’s greatest heroes, those who manned the front lines of the civil rights movement was blasphemous and an insult to those who admire the heroes of the civil rights movement and those who believe in our system of justice.