Trial By Jury 5-part videoPart 1 This overview will help you clearly understand how, in America, the "constitutional right to an abortion" has existed at the cost of the "constitutional right to a trial by jury" in abortion prevention trials. 8-year-old Lexi and 10-year-old Vanessa play the parts of news reporters, and later of lawyers. Dave Leach plays himself, a law professor, and the personal lawyer of a late term abortionist. Part 1 is an overview. You get to meet all the characters.
Part 2 How Scott Roeder's Trial Could Go. Professor Noetall and Dave Leach speculate what could happen in Scott Roeder's trial, if he stipulates that he did what the prosecutor charges, but then still demands a jury trial over the contested trial issue: whether abortion is in fact an unthinkable harm which no law or ruling could deliberately intend to protect. Dave Leach is interviewed by Pee Wee TV star reporter Lexi.
Part 3 What Could Go Wrong. This is just an honest self examination of a trumpet player who wants to stop abortion and is just doing his best to figure out how. I'm just by myself out in my back yard, in front of my geodesic chicken house, with my goats munching corn behind me, going over all the reasons which a couple of lawyers have told me my strategy must inevitably fail. Actually, the bottom line for me is not "will my words persuade this time" but "are my words true?" Show me where they are not, and I'll go off in a corner and practice some scales. If they are, I want to swing my hammer of truth and justice and freedom at the tinsel of tyranny until nothing is left.
Part 4 Debate at Hartnox School of Law. Lexi and Vanessa become lawyers in this debate over why juries should not be told about the sole issue of Scott Roeder's trial. Vanessa, 11, and I, 64, gang up on poor Lexi, 8. But honestly, the vocabulary coming out of that little girl's mouth is so intimidating that the only way I mustered the courage to face off against her was by remembering that I wrote the script.
Part 5 A Few Reasonable Folk who call Abortion "Murder", besides God If you think the reasonable people of the jury would never find abortion to be, in fact, "murder", here is a list of rather prominent Americans who are on record that it is, from Supreme Court Justicies to the Presidents who appoint them. I faced off against myself in this one. I play me, and my opponent, the abortionist's personal lawyer. There is only a brief interruption from Vanessa, with breaking news about the horrible things being said at Scott Roeder's Bible study. Finally, the other me has had it, and pulls his gun on me. But I fight back with my Bible and easily subdue him.
Transcript Here's a PDF file of the script for the whole 5-part series.
Links to popular video sites that mirror these videos: Youtube, search "biblewizard". Dailymotion, Metacafe, or Sevenload, search "trial by jury". But only on this site can you download the .wmv files to your computer, by right clicking and selecting "save target as".
This is the case that makes every Kansas lawyer say "Genocide is legal, so courts can't imagine that it hurts anybody. You are only justified in stopping genocide that is unlawful. If it is legal, you have to let it keep on ravishing you and those you love." Read this case with my translations and analysis, and see how this thinking sprung from a misunderstanding of grammar! Even if you don't have a paper on your wall that allows you to understand law, I bet you have something that lets you understand English!
The November 15, 2009 dream repeated itself several times over a few hours, with minor variations. I wonder if Pharaoh’s and Nebuchadnezzer’s compelling dream was like that? I share it now, not with any thought that it prophesies anything, but because it is an amazing analogy of what is already taking place. In my dream, a crowd as far as the eye could see was expected by a dictator to worship grass as God, and to demonstrate their fealty by walking, in turn, over a certain path. It became my turn with great public anticipation because I was the only one, at least so far as I knew, who had spoken out loudly and publicly against it. As in the Bible story of Shadrach, Mesheck, and Abednego, I came to the head of the path, and turned the other way. The dictator expressed, over the powerful PA system, incredulity, just as Nebuchadnezzer had, and gave me a second chance. As Shadrach, Mesheck, and Abednego had, I answered, as loudly as I could though without the PA. I think the dictator’s questions was something like, “Are you willing to worship your God?” which struck me as a trick question because in his mind, my God was this grass. He (at least it was not a she; although I never saw the person but heard only the voice – come to think of it, with lesbians as prolific as they are today, the voice was not too low to have been an “it”) dared me to say “no, I will not worship my God”, or to say “Yes, I will worship my God” in a way he could not twist to identify my allegience as being to his revered grass. What I was facing was something I don’t think Shadrach, Mesheck, and Abednego faced: a media which twists your words, so that I struggled to think of how to answer this “it” which could not be edited and reported out of context. I almost said “Yes, I will worship my God, but just not this grass.” But then I realized even the first word, if not the middle phrase, could be reported but not the last phrase. I don’t remember exactly what I considered, but it was something which did not directly correlate to the question, “I won’t worship this grass”, or “I will worship the God of this grass.” As I lay awake pondering this dream, I thought of Jesus’ many oblique answers, and wondered how many of them were motivated by calculating how to get reported accurately by a “media” determined to distort direct answers. Certainly the parables in general were designed for that purpose. Matthew 13:10-17. The other thing I pondered was how close we may be to a time when our government will require our concurrence with doctrines that patently absurd. Indeed, are we already there? Is the doctrine that grass is our God any more patently absurd than “how can genocide be legally recognized as a harm, when it is legal?”
My research on the practical utility of technical strategies like stipulating to the prosecutor's alleged facts in an abortion prevention trial. It's routine with other affirmative defenses, but unthinkable where judges have glommed onto this nutty idea that the fact issue, of whether the lives Roder saved are humans, is a "question of law" which the triers of fact, the jury, are unqualified to even know about.
Our purpose was not to “glorify violence” as eBay feared, but to facilitate a defense which will result in Roeder’s jury having meaningful participation in his trial. Lawyers expect his judge to censor Roeder’s defense, just like eBay vows it will censor this auction. The items we want to auction are collectibles in the history of Freedom of Speech in America, and in the company of America's finest traditions.
How can you help? simple. Unharden your heart. Unshackle your reason. Let your tongue proclaim the obvious which almost the whole world shouts down. Don't be so embarrassed by Truth that you lie. Pay the personal price for feeding the world spiritual vegetables while the world whines for candy. Jesus will reward you with treasures of the Heart. Beyond that, you can write to us and say "Hi!" You can fellowship with us, if over the miles, and bless us. Oh, and also, send a note to the judge (address above) urging him to let the jury hear the only trial issue, and asking him to update abortion case law. Also, TELL YOUR FRIENDS about this! There is hope for the unborn, if the judge feels the pressure of an informed public watching him, so he knows he can't sweep these issues under the rug and expect no one to notice, but he will have to actually address them.
Dave Leach (that's me) is not a lawyer, but neither is he a newcomer to the subject of the Necessity Defense. Here is an overview of his (my) experience with it.
It was called a "Defensive Action Statement", back in 1993, this principle set to writing by Paul Hill that whatever force can be justified to save a born child from his killer, can be justified to save an unborn child. The logic is irrefutable for anyone who accepts God's premise that the unborn are fully human. But its logic was never addressed - only shouted down - by its passionate critics over the years. Why? Galations 6:12 explains that persecution is a strong incentive to abandon reason. This 3rd edition puts this principle to very practical use: identifying it as a Fact Question which lawfully must be judged by the Triers of Fact - the jury - in abortion prevention trials. But it doesn't just stop at stating conclusions which only make lawyers laugh: it backs them up with legal arguments which are as hard to address as the value of unborn lives. And it is followed by the signatures of some of those who have suffered most for taking these principles seriously.
In June, 2009 I discovered a Wikipedia article written about me which alleged that I was the original publisher of the Army Of God Manual, and that said manual endorses killing abortionists. I edited the article with evidence that neither is true. The corrections have survived lo these 6 months, but with a tag added. here is the first part of the article and my response to the tag:
"Dave Francis Leach is a Des Moines anti-abortion activist and publisher of the extremist newsletter Prayer & Action News and web site The Partnership Machine. His publications support the doctrine of justifiable homicide in the case of abortion doctors, the same doctrine cited by Prayer & Action News subscriber and contributor Scott Roeder prior to the Assassination of George Tiller, a Kansas abortion doctor. Leach reprinted the Army of God manual, which lists ways to damage abortion buildings from putting super glue in locks to two simple bomb recipes, in the January 1996 issue of his magazine. The manual had previously been published only anonymously, and mailed anonymously to pro-life leaders and news reporters. Leach's reprint of it was the first printing that was not anonymous. The introduction explained that Janet Reno's Virginia Grand Jury had, for a year, subpoenaed pro-lifers and "commanded" them to bring any copies they had of the Army of God Manual, which were then taken, treating possession of a book as some kind of crime. Leach explained that reprinting it threw down the gauntlet: "if owning a book is a crime, here I am; prosecute me." Within days after reprints went in the mail, the Virginia Grand Jury was disbanded.
"The manual concludes with a paragraph commonly said to advocate the killing of abortionists. The sentences are "...Whosoever sheds mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed [Gen. 9:6]...we are forced to take arms against you. Our life for yours..." Leach insists that the problem with interpreting this as advocating justifiable homicide is that (1) it says "our life for yours" instead of "your life for the babies'"; and (2) the book only shows how to damage property, never how to hurt people. The alternative interpretation Leach says he had when he reprinted the manual is that the "arms" could mean the tools of vandalism, and "our life for yours" could reference the Christian concept of paying the penalty owed by another - viz. "we will pay the penalty you have earned, by risking spending the rest of our own lives in jail to right your wrongs." Leach cites page 48 of his reprint, which says “murder” is “something no pro-lifer would recommend, being pro-life”. And page 76: “We must die that others may live....don’t construe this to mean I recommend executing abortionists. I do not. Although I think it easily justified from Holy Writ, the A. O. G. adheres to the principle of minimum force. Mercy, rather than justice is the driving force behind our actions.”
"Leach’s clarifications should not be taken as distancing himself from the concept of “justifiable homicide”. On the contrary, he wrote a legal brief  for Scott Roeder, docketed in his case January 7, 2010, which alleges that shooting Dr. George Tiller was not only justified by the Bible, but by Supreme Court case law in 2003, Federal law in 2004, and Kansas law in 2007."
"[Response by Dave Leach to the tag added that this might be an “autobiography, or has been extensively edited by the subject” and may not meet “Wikipedia’s neutral point of view policy”, which can be discussed “further on the talk page”: there is no discussion on the talk page, and I can’t figure out how to enter any, or how to ask anyone how, so I must respond here, that this article about me wasn’t my idea. I discovered it in June, 2009. My only substantial corrections were of its two mistakes in the preceding section, which by the way are made by many others: saying that I was the original printer of the Army Of God Manual, and that the manual “advocates the killing of abortionists”. It is not good journalism to write untruths about somebody and not even let the person know an article was written, and then when he finds out and corrects the record, to say the article no longer meets quality standards!!!]"
Watch the first 10 minutes of this approximately 50 minute interview at Youtube. Copy to your url browser:
Youtube description: Scott Roeder, interviewed by Dave Leach for the Uncle Ed. Show, October 1996. Subject: how driver's licenses and auto insurance would be handled if we followed the Bible. This is the first 10 minutes of about a 50 minute interview. Later in the interview Scott explains how the Freemen put liens against judges, which they used as collateral for bank drafts for millions of dollars. He also explains a bit of his court case where blasting caps were found in his trunk; his court record for that was cleared the following year.
If you want to see the whole show, get a DVD of it for $20 including postage and handling..
Do You Believe it was OK for him to Shoot the Doctor?"!!
A reader and friend asked: "I think this man commited a crime and should be dealt accordingly. Abortion is wrong but two wrongs don't make a right. Do you believe that it was okay for him to shoot the abortionist?? I believe that God will judge this man and if people focused more on winning souls for Christs Kingdom, sinners would then be under the holy spirits conviction, repent and turn from their evil ways."
My answer: "My involvement in this trial is not focused on whether what Scott did was "right", which has proved a very difficult moral dilemma for Christians because just as it is hard to call killing a doctor "right", it is also hard to call stopping a man from killing over 2,000 more babies (just from the time Tiller was shot May 31 to the time scheduled for trial Jan 11) categorically "wrong".
Nor can it be called categorically "right" to engage oneself in every other activity than stopping a man from killing so many so fast for a typical $5,000 per scalp, counting his "baptisms" (where he pays his preacher to mix a little Holy Water with the victim's amniotic fluid) and "funeral services". I never yet have had a wart taken off where I made sure to baptize the wart and give it a proper burial, have you? I think Tiller was saying he knew he was slaughtering human beings whose souls cried out to God as he dismembered their bodies.
What we have needed all these years is a way to stop all this evil that is a lot less theologically and legally messy. But having said that, Scott's trial presents an opportunity to end abortion, and that is my interest in Scott's trial.
I have published many Bible studies over the years which reach a more emphatic, detailed position than I have space for here. Some of them are posted on this website under "abortion". There is a little bit in the "Defensive Action Statement below. But fortunately prolifers do not have to reach consensus on this apparently difficult topic in order to pull together in making use of Scott's trial to end abortion.
It is irrelevant whether you believe Scott is going to Hell for shooting a doctor, as you consider whether to write Judge Wilbert to ask him to allow his jury to hear the only contested issue of the trial, which is the defendant's only defense.
It doesn't matter if you think Scott took the law into his own hands, is trying to build a "right" out of two "wrongs", or is "taking vengeance", as you consider whether to maximize the media attention on this trial by explaining to friends and contacts that Roe has "collapsed", Federal law now establishes the personhood of the unborn, not all abortions are "legal", and the cost of keeping abortion "legal" all these years has been the Constitutional Right to Trial by Jury, all these years.
November 12 was when the prosecutor asked the judge to order Scott Roeder not to say a word to the jury about his defense, or about the only contested issue of the trial. This is the brief I wrote for Scott, to respond to it. It is written for lawyers but can be understood by laymen. It explains how censoring the Necessity Defense not only is not required by Roe v. Wade, but violates Roe.
This brief offers an amazing opportunity to end abortion! One excerpt: "Abortion has not been constitutionally protected since at least 2003. [When a dissent by Justice Scalia clearly explained how constitutional protection had been withdrawn in the 1992 case Pennsylvania v. Casey.] Abortion has been legally recognizable as a harm since 2005, the year Roe “collapsed”. [When Laci's Law defined the unborn as "homo sapiens", which meets the condition given in Roe for Roe's "collapse". It includes language that the law does not "permit the prosecution" of abortions, but that language does not save Roe.] .... It may not appear so now, [that Roe has collapsed], but that is only because inconsistencies between law and case law are not resolved instantly; the only mechanism for resolving them is a case that requires those inconsistencies to be resolved. This is that case."
Link to series of excerpts at Covenant News: http://www.covenantnews.com/leach091212.htm
Motion to Reconsider
With the 104 page brief, Scott Roeder mailed this Motion to Reconsider [Judge Wilbert's December 22 ruling that Scott Roeder is not allowed to say a word to the jury about the only defense he has with any hope of acquitting him]. On December 22 Judge Wilbert ruled the Necessity Defense inadmissible, while scheduling the hearing for January 8 on the Defense of Others. Problem: the difference between the two defenses is about like the difference between a white bird, and a bird that is white. Different names; different legal status - "Defense of others" has unquestioned legal force in Kansas while that of the "Necessity Defense" is in doubt. But the elements (components) of the Defense of Others, whose force is unquestioned, falls well within the range of the elements of the Necessity Defense as described in City of Wichita v. Tilson, 1993, whose force is in doubt! So therefore, the motion asks, what exactly was ruled "inadmissible" on December 22, and what exactly remains on the table to be decided January 8?!
How This Case is different
Than Any of the 60,000+ Past Abortion Prevention Cases
God disguised Himself as as an alleged harlot's poor baby on the "Most Wanted" list of legal authority. A fugitive, stuttering prince was chosen to deliver Israel from slavery and write the opening books of God. God had a tax collector on the level of a heathen (Mat 18:17) introduce His New Testament. God got most of the books of His New Testament written by the world's greatest sinner. 1 Timothy 1:15.
So it should not seem out of character for God to answer the prayers of prolife Christians for an end to abortion with a case which they could not despise more: the murder trial of Scott Roeder, who shot and killed the infamous late term abortionist, George Tiller of Wichita, May 31, 2009, in Tiller's church on Sunday morning!
The Necessity Defense operates in everyday life to set aside enforcement of the letter of any law in an emergency situation where enforcement would cause loss of life never intended by the framers of the law.
In 60,000+ abortion prevention cases, ranging from blocking abortion doors, to burning them down, to shooting the people behind them, the Necessity Defense has been doggedly raised, arguing that the unthinkable harm prevented easily justifies the relatively insignificant harm generated. But state supreme court precedents against allowing the defense in abortion prevention cases are as overwhelming as they are outdated by new federal law and cases. It will take an informed public to create pressure on the judge to overcome such inertia. Especially in a high profile, emotional case like this where everyone thinks the issues are too simple to merit actually studying them.
But if prolifers could sit in front of abortuary doors without fear of arrest, abortion would end. In fact, the public education through a trial that succeeds in unlocking the Necessity Defense would pretty much end abortion before the door blockers could arrive. Those are the stakes of this trial. And most of this will be decided at the December 22 In Limine hearing, three weeks before the trial.
Five things are different about this trial than about any of the 60,000+ abortion prevention trials (ie blocking doors, burning buildings, shooting) that have gone before:
1. Roe has "collapsed" under Laci's Law, 2005, which defines unborn babies as "homo sapiens", meeting the conditions laid out in Roe v. Wade for Roe's "collapse". It says it should not be interpreted to "permit" the "prosecution" of abortions, but this does not prevent Roe's "collapse", which does not by itself "permit prosecution" of abortion. That requires a separate step of enacting criminal laws against abortion. But in any case, Laci's Law establishes the unborn as fully human, or as Roe states, "persons in the whole sense", and therefore establishes their murders as the most unthinkable genocide.
2. Roe is no longer "constitutionally protected". A 2003 Scalia dissent makes a clear case that "constitutional protection" of abortion was withdrawn in 1992. He explains how Casey's retreat from calling abortion a "fundamental right" is the Court's way of saying abortion is no longer "constitutionally protected".
3. Tiller's abortions cannot be presumed "legal". No court has denied that abortion is the most cruel, barbaric, unthinkable genocide. But courts have almost unanimously ruled that "irrelevant" to the defense of someone who tries to stop this genocide by force, because "abortion is legal". The judge can't presume that in Tiller's case. In no other case has there been so dark a cloud of uncertainty over whether all of the abortions involved were legal by any standard. After Tiller's acquittal in a very political trial, a medical board remained unimpressed enough with the acquittal to continue investigating the same issues, which it was still investigating when Tiller was shot. But we don't have to document all of that old history to make our case. We can turn to the prosecutor's own very short In Limine motion, where she danced all around her implication that all of Tiller's abortions were legal! The prosecutor would like to ask the judge to rule that because abortion is legal, therefore the defendant is not allowed to show the jury his only defense - because even if abortion is genocide, that is "irrelevant" since abortion is "legal". Or, "how can abortion be legally recognizable as a harm, if it is legal?" This time, we don't have to diagram that logic to count all its holes, because this time, the prosecutor can't quite spit it out. She cannot state unequivocally that all Tiller's abortions were legal. Nor can the judge presume that Tiller's abortions were all legal. This is a question about facts, which the judge must turn over to the jury.
4. The issue which the judge wants to hide from the jury is isolated as the ONLY trial issue. Scott is willing to stipulate to the alleged facts. Not the mens rea, but the physical actions alleged that he did. This isolates the Necessity Defense as the ONLY contested issue of the trial, making the parade of 182 witnesses irrelevant, and leaving the judge in a quandry how to provide a PRETENSE of trial by jury when the parade stops and he rules the defense inadmissible. There again, this alone would not be enough to change the outcome without an informed public watching this drama. This sets up a huge question for the public: "if the judge rules the only contested issue of a trial "a question of law", which the jury is not competent to even know about, and then the judge decides the only contested issue before the trial even begins, does the defendant still have a right to trial by jury, here in America?" (This is a pure "Jury Nullification" case, even though we say nothing about the right of a jury to judge the law as well as the facts.)
5. A strong public education effort is underway. The challenge has been to make the actual legal issues the news focus rather than the incendiary aspects of the case. Scott's pro se brief which I wrote for him (while he so far still has public defenders) mailed December 11, Friday, should help. It is online at www.Saltshaker.US/Scott-Roeder-Resources.com, and on Saturday morning Covenant News published the first of my series of brief excerpts. Steve Ertelt says he will do "something" about it before the hearing. AP reporter Roxanne Hegeman and KC Star reporter Judy Thomas have been reporting it.
I realize all these things are normally unthinkable to lawyers, publishing a brief before it is submitted, etc. But in the face of overwhelming state supreme court precedent (even though it is years out of date), and overwhelming expectation among lawyers that Scott will NOT be allowed to present his only defense to the jury, I see it as Scott's ONLY hope.
Not only do I see a need for public education, but I see a need for a few letters to the judge. Not a huge effort. But as I explained to the AP reporter, "I changed my website a bit to ask people to write to the judge. This is no reflection on Judge Wilbert personally. I don't know anything about him. But I have seen expectations so high among reporters and lawyers that Scott has no chance of being allowed to defend himself, that no matter how saintly the judge is, he is simply going to have to hear that a few people understand the issue is the Constitutional Right to Trial by Jury, and that an increasingly informed public is watching, or he will feel utterly alone in going against overwhelming expectations and state precedent, no matter how outdated."
Here's a timeline of news stories in newspapers, local TV, and network TV about Scott Roeder and his friends, with background information, our analysis, and our comments.
Description as it was posted on Youtube Feb 8, 2010: Scott Roeder was interviewed by Dave Leach by phone the first week of February. Scott shot the late late term abortionist George Tiller in his Wichita church May 31. Only God could have arranged for his trial to begin January 22, 2010, the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade! Certainly not his judge, Wilbert, who generated headlines all over the world saying "this trial is NOT going to be about abortion!" Scott was found guilty of 1st Degree Murder January 29. In this clip he explains his feelings about <> Tiller and his family, <> the judge's censorship of abortion facts, <> a church narthex as a "safe place", <> accusations that he is "bloodthirsty", and <> how he feels now that it's over.