Friday, June 05, 2009

Law Enforcement Could Have Prevented Dr. Tiller's Murder

Scott Roeder, an extreme anti-abortion activist, has been charged with murdering Dr. Tiller, who performed abortions, some late-term, in Wichita, KS. I don't believe in abortion unless it is a medical necessity. Dr. Tiller performed abortions that were legal in Kansas. The legality of his abortions was upheld in court.

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, 1994, forbids the use of force, threat of force or physical obstruction to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services. Violation of the Act is a federal crime. In 1994, the Dept of Justice prosecuted 17 violations of FACE. In the years 1994 through 1998, the DOJ prosecuted about 50 violations. While GW Bush was president, the DOJ prosecuted an average of 2 violations per year. The number of DOJ prosecutions would be expected to decrease because the number of FACE complaints per year decreased. However, the ratio of prosecutions to complaints during the Bush administration was only one-third as much as throughout the Clinton administration.

Violations have not decreased for all clinics as much as they have for some because of differences in the enforcement of the law. Law enforcement in Wichita, KS where Dr. Tiller had his clinic was poor to none. After one Wichita city attorney failed to act on one of Dr. Tiller’s complaints, the attorney explained that he would rather be sued by Dr. Tiller than the anti-abortionists.

Many complaints about Scott Roeder were filed with the FBI over a period of years yet Roeder was never prosecuted. The FBI received two complaints from a Kansas City clinic about Scott Roeder one week before the murder and the day before the murder. In the second incident a clinic employee confronted Roeder while Roeder was trying to super glue the clinic’s access doors. Roeder was also videotaped by the clinics security system but the FBI did nothing.

While local law enforcement and the FBI did nothing, Cheryl Sullenger, an advisor to Operation Rescue, an anti-abortion group in Wichita, provided information to Scott Roeder regarding the time and place of various court hearings in which Dr. Tiller was involved. Cheryl Sullenger served two years in jail for conspiracy to bomb a California abortion clinic. Sullenger claims that she was only providing answers to Roeder’s questions and was not otherwise involved. It appears to me that Cheryl Sullenger, if not Operation Rescue also, conspired to murder Dr. Tiller.

Scott Roeder was able to murder Dr. Tiller because the DOJ, the FBI and local law enforcement in Kansas repeatedly and consistently failed to act. I expect Scott Roeder to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, I question whether Cheryl Sullenger and Operation Rescue will be investigated to determine if either or both conspired with Scott Roeder. I also question whether the DOJ, FBI and Wichita law enforcement will investigate their neglect that enabled this crime to be committed.


K. Simms said...

Cheryl Sullenger is just as guilty in this crime. I hope she pays by spending the rest of her pathetic worthless life behind bars.

Joe said...

The DOJ announced yesterday that they will investigate a possible conspiracy. If she and/or others conspired with Roeder I'm sure they will be brought to justice.