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Convicted Murderer Scott Roeder Gets Life Sentence

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By Kamika Dunlap on April 05, 2010 2:15 PM

It will be 50 years before convicted murder and anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder will be eligible for parole as he faces a life sentence for killing Dr. George Tiller.

A Kansas judge handed down 50 instead of 25 years to Roeder for the 2009 fatal shooting of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, the Associated News reports.

Roeder used his sentencing as a forum to spread his religious and political beliefs to justify his crime. He shouted at the prosecutor "the blood of babies is in your hands," as he was handcuffed and led away.

Roeder, 52, also was sentenced to another year of prison on each of two counts of aggravated assault for threatening two church ushers as he fled.

The judge stopped Roeder after 42 minutes into his remarks about why he killed Dr. George Tiller.

District Judge Warren Wilbert chose to give Roeder life in prison with no possibility of parole for 50 years, the longest sentence possible under Kansas law, because killing Tiller in a church made the crime heinous.

Throwing the book at Roeder sent a strong message that nothing -- not even his stated beliefs -- mitigates his crime.

As previously discussed, Dr. George Tiller ran a women's clinic where he performed abortions in Wichita, Kansas. He was fatally shot at his church on May 31, and prosecutors say it was not just premeditated murder but it was "a planned assassination."

In addition, prosecutors portrayed Tiller as a target of Roeder's anti-abortion agenda.

Lee Thompson, the Tiller family's attorney and a friend described the murder as an act of domestic terrorism.

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