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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:33 PM
Original message
Kansas judge in abortion case comes under scrutiny
WICHITA, Kan. -- The judge overseeing the trial of the man accused of gunning down a Kansas abortion doctor is a practicing Roman Catholic who once courted the endorsement of an anti-abortion group - but who has insisted the case won't be about abortion.

State District Judge Warren Wilbert galvanized both sides of the nation's abortion debate this week when he refused on the eve of Scott Roeder's murder trial to block the defense from trying to build a voluntary-manslaughter case by arguing that Roeder believed the killing of Dr. George Tiller was necessary to save unborn children.

Legal experts said the judge's decision was a proper attempt to protect the defendant's rights. But the move has put Wilbert and his background under the microscope heading into one of the nation's most sensational abortion-related cases.

"All high-profile trials put a lot of pressure on judges because even though our courtrooms are open, generally speaking, the public doesn't have an eye on judges unless election time comes around," said Michael Kaye, director of Washburn University's Center for Excellence in Advocacy in Topeka. "So a judge in this position, any judge knowing this, is going to try to do his best to appear judicious and to rule in a way that will not get him reversed."

more . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think this may turn into a huge circus and many will forget that this is a MURDER case
the piece of shit Roeder KILLED a man. He planned it, made practice runs and committed Cold blooded murder.

It does NOT matter what the victim did for a career, he was Murderded in a Church. Plain and simple
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. This shit about this judge is messed up
Damn
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. I have to disagree; it certainly DOES matter what he did for a career
If, on the long shot Roeder gets off on this defense, what that does is give others the legal ability to murder other abortion providers on the same "needed killin'" grounds. This trial has the possibility of putting the lives of a lot of doctors and medical professionals in danger.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. you misunderstand what I meant. If someone did that to say a teacher
in a church, the headline would not be the abortion trial, ...
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. Ah, how did I miss THAT media fuckup?
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. A little scrutiny might be a good idea.
Judge reprimanded for conduct: District Judge Warren Wilbert is given a cease-and-desist order over inappropriate personal relations with an employee.
The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, KS)
| March 18, 2006

http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-143371077/ju...
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. thank you for posting--I was just about to. this man is a piece of work
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I wish we had a judge like Paul Clark
He was fair and honest. He presided over the Tiller trial and did not let his personal bias affect any part of the case. ( he also presided over the Carr Brother's trial)

Judge Paul Clark is an elder in our Baptist Church and is very fair, but he retired.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. Double damn
This just gets worse.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. and then there is this:
Wilbert, a Republican who earned his bachelor's and law degrees from Washburn University in Topeka, was appointed to the bench in 1995 and faced no opposition the first three times he stood election. The most recent race was a different story: Wilbert won re-election in 2008 by a mere 471 votes out of nearly 166,000 cast.

Kansans for Life's political action committee endorsed Wilbert in that race, though it did not contribute to his campaign directly. The mainstream anti-abortion group does not espouse violence, and its political arm focuses on lobbying the state Legislature.

Finance records show that Wilbert paid the group $75 in September 2008 to have his name listed in an ad in its quarterly newsletter, a 6-by-11-inch booklet of 24 pages that included articles such as "Update on Tiller charges" and "Planned Parenthood - a Snake in the Grass!" The judge also spent more than $16,000 on radio spots on seven stations.

The ad in the newsletter took up most of the bottom of page 16. It said: "The Kansans for Life PAC urges you to vote for, work for and pray for the following pro-life candidates."

David Gittrich, the organization's state development director, said the group endorsed Wilbert because it believed he was no judicial activist and would not try to make new law from the bench. "The No. 1 thing is, is this a good judge?" Gittrich said.


http://www.kansascity.com/440/story/1685515.html
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I am sure the DA will be aware of this information
she is very smart and on top of every little detail
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
8. While I understand "innocent until proven guilty"...
The article fails in the first line. Roeder is not accused of gunning down Dr. Tiller. That is fact, and not at all in dispute. To portray it otherwise is fallacious at best.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. additionally, he threated with a gun several others in the church
the piece of shit is GUILTY
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. what a fucked up headline. this is NOT an abortion case. It's a murder case.
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. EXACTLY
but somehow it is overlooked
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. This whole case is becoming very fucked up
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:35 PM
Response to Original message
16. Just
:wtf: is wrong with the state of Kansas?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. Actually not much
The folks leading the anti-choice battles here are not FROM here. They moved here when Tiller started doing late term abortions. And they are trying to take over our statehouse and state govt.

Your question should be what's the matter with anti-choice zealots.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. I was just playing with
the title of that book about Kansas...that's all.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. That is getting old
And if you have read the book, it's not about Kansas so much as a national trend of people voting against their own best interests.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #30
32. Fine.
Excuse me.

Will not bother you again. Yes, I read the book along with 'Deer Hunting with Jesus.'

Go rag on a republican.

good luck and good bye.


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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #32
34.  ???
:wtf:
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. abortion has nothing to do with the murder of Dr. Tiller
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Terra Alta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
18. Roeder is a murderer, plain and simple.
Voluntary manslaughter.. WTF?? I really hope the jury doesn't fall for that BS. Roeder killed a man in cold blood. How the hell can he call himself "pro-life"?
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greenbriar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I totally agree
but the fundy nut jobs will be foaming at the mouth during this monstrosity
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. K&R
Good
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. This is one fucked up judge.
:puke:
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
22. DUpe.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 10:55 PM by Odin2005
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
24. This has been somewhat misunderstood
A defendant has the right to present a defense. The judge is correct in allowing him to present that defense. It only becomes something to be concerned about if he allows a manslaughter instruction and permits the defendant to seek a verdict on the lesser included offense. As long as the judge doesn't allow an instruction based on the crackpot defense he is raising, the crackpot will get to present his case (and have one less issue to appeal) but the jury will not have the choice to find him guilty of voluntary manslaughter. It is actually a move that will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of a conviction and will help to insure that the verdict stands on appeal.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:36 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. I was with you on that thinking until I did some research into the judge
He should be thrown off the bench for accepting money from Kansans for Life and then agreeing to take the Roeder case.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Those are separate issues
Conflict of interest or not, that ruling in and of itself is not evidence of bias. Unless the prosecutor is in the tank (and I will assume that he or she is not) you can be sure that if they thought there was a problem with the judge they would ask for a special judge. In fact, depending on how things are set up in Wichita there's a good chance that the prosecution got to pick the judge by filing the case in his court in the first place.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #24
27. Exactly...
One would assume that if the Prosecution thought the judge was biased, they would request a change of venue or ask the judge to recuse himself.

The bottom line is this is a murder case...and it's about the specifics of that murder...everything else isn't germaine. The defendant can claim all he wants and grandstand (which I'm sure will happen)...but it ultimately ends up with the jury and if the Prosecution presents a case that is beyond reasonable doubt. The judge's role will be to keep the trial moving and I would assume that any attempts by the murderer to try to turn this into a farce will be met with objections...and Judge plays politics with it, it's all but certain to be appealed.

This is a high profile case...many will be watching and in some cases trying to make political hay...both pro and con...but the fact is this is a murder trial...the killer has the right to defend himself and from my experience on serving on juries, all that matters is what happens in the jury room, not the judge's chambers.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
31. Am a catholic and most catholics I know are pro-choice. If this judge
is giving the defend an a pat on the back then he is just allow people like this guy to get away with murder and they will allow it to continue. This country is no freer from the religious right and the courts and congress keeps allowing to get away from this kind of action then freedom as we all know it is gone. We will be no better than the middle east countries who want to impose their religion on everyone else. God has foresaken america and I sure don't blame him.
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-19-10 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
33. Although I want to believe him, this case is far too important to let him decide it
He needs to be removed.
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