WICHITA, Kan. — The man who seven years ago shot and killed notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller, also known as “Tiller the Killer,” was re-sentenced this week—becoming eligible for parole 25 years earlier than his original sentence.
Scott Roeder had originally been sentenced to life in prison without the eligibility of parole for 50 years, also known as a “hard 50.” But on Wednesday, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett advised that he had withdrawn the original recommendation and asked for a default of parole eligibility in 25 years.
Roeder, 57, was to have appeared before a jury next week for re-sentencing in light of a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that resulted in his previous sentence being vacated, among many others incarcerated. The court had ruled that juries, not judges, should decide whether or not to issue more severe punishments.
Bennett said that prosecutors decided not to continue with the stronger sentence after considering Roeder’s health, his life expectancy and the chances of whether or not he would still be alive when eligible for parole.
“There will be no further legal hearing or recourse afforded him,” Tiller’s family said in a statement. “With this legal closure, the Dr. George Tiller family will continue to heal and thrive and live fully in our communities. We wish to convey our gratitude to all our friends and allies that have stood by Dr. Tiller and our family for many, many years.”
“I was really shocked about today,” Roeder told The Associated Press following the hearing. “I was glad obviously to hear the sentence reduced, but I was looking forward to being another voice for the unborn, so I was disappointed in that respect.”
He expressed no remorse for murdering Tiller.
Roeder was convicted of first degree murder in 2010 after he shot Tiller in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran church in Wichita, where Tiller served as an usher. Tiller, an infamous late-term abortionist, had become the focus of much protest, being dubbed “Tiller the baby killer.”
“We have some experience with late terminations—about 10,000 patients between 24 and 36 weeks,” he said in a speech to the National Abortion Federation, “and something like 800 fetal anomalies between 26 and 36 weeks in the past 5 years.”
Tiller, who is believed to have invented the induction method of abortion with a digoxin injection, was also stated to have a crematorium on site at his abortion facility where he would burn the bodies of the murdered unborn babies. Live Action News reports that a chimney could be seen smoking on top of the building, releasing the ashes of the dead children.
Pro-life groups, however, condemned Roeder’s murder of Tiller, stating that violence is not the answer in ending abortion.
“As Christians we pray and look toward the end of all violence and for the saving of souls, not the taking of human life,” Tony Perkins of Family Research Council said following the shooting. “George Tiller was a man who we publicly sought to stop through legal and peaceful means. We strongly condemn the actions taken today by this vigilante killer and we pray for the Tiller family and for the nation that we might once again be a nation that values all human life, both born and unborn.”