WICHITA, Kan. - For eight months, many parts of America waited for the decision of a jury of twelve: did Scott Roeder plan out the murder of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller in a church on May 31, 2009? And many Americans feared the jury - and, often times, the judge - would not side with justice, no matter their beliefs on abortion. The trial is now over with sentencing and appeals to come. Roeder very likely will spend the rest of his life in jail. It seemed a foregone conclusion that this would be the result of the trial. So why did so many people fear Roeder wouldn't?
Some of the fear I saw floating around the internet was that Kansans, living in a red state, would let Roeder walk because they are anti-abortion and wanted Dr. Tiller to stop providing them. Dead is as good as in jail. After all, we did elect Phill Kline. The jury would surely nullify and set him free. There are a few problems with this line of thought. Kline, for one, won in 2002 with only 50.3% of the vote against a candidate who barely campaigned. Hardly a referendum on abortion and Dr. Tiller.