There is no justification for murder

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 11:01 a.m. CST, Thursday, November 12, 2009

I hope that no one related to me believes that the murder by Scott Roeder of abortion provider George Tiller was justifiable homicide. If so, my family has failed to teach that individual right from wrong.

I suppose if I were growing up today, watching television, without the benefit of parental guidance, it would be difficult for me to embrace any faith or adopt any creed. Even as an adult, it’s hard to know who is telling the truth anymore about anything.

Judging by those who were willing to host an eBay auction to help Roeder hire an attorney to defend himself, some people at least, do believe the murder was justified. I suppose these people have children whom they are teaching by this example.

When you look at the nature of the crimes being perpetrated across the country these days, you can easily believe that there are many people reading the rules of civilized behavior from a different book. For example, how would a person feel who lived next door to the convicted rapist who has multiple decomposing bodies in and around his house?

Unfortunately, bizarre behavior is becoming an everyday phenomenon. Many people are no longer shocked when they hear stories of children being abducted, assaulted and confined by their captors for years before they are found. The fact that these monsters grow up in our neighborhoods and attend a local school should make us wonder how their behavior can go undetected for so long.

Have we reached a point where children have to undergo psychological testing every year to determine the state of their mental health? These people do not suddenly develop these sick, criminal tendencies all at once. They develop them over time. So what are we doing wrong here?

The majority will probably remind us that there is nothing new about any of this and such incidents have been going on all the time. They will inform us that it is because our communication and information technologies have advanced to the extent that we simply know more about what’s going on than we ever did before. And while that may be true, shouldn’t it also mean that our ability to identify troubled personalities and treat them before they have an opportunity to do such dastardly deeds should have sharpened?

Our society has a way of assuming that everyone is mentally stable and capable of processing whatever images or configurations that are put before his or her eyes, but it seems to me that not all of this criminal behavior is original to the perpetrator. I mean sometimes a person has to ask herself, where did such an idea originate?

In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson defended racial segregation in transportation and ruled that it did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Thereafter the so-called provision of "separate but equal" became the law of the land and remained that way for more than 60 years. It was a law that a lot of people didn’t like but they had to obey it until new law was passed. Those who don’t agree with Roe v. Wade have no choice but to obey it because that’s the way we do things in America. Certainly they have the right to let their objections be known, hopefully, within a peaceful context, but history has proven over and over again that killing people will not change the law. Attempting to make heroes out of villains may create more villains, but Roe v. Wade will continue to stand unless it is changed.

It is unfortunate that the adults who support this kind of behavior are sending a bad message to the country’s children. As a result these children go to school everyday believing that it is OK to kill people because you disagree with their behavior. That is definitely not a good thing.

Some people believe strongly that most families do not spend enough quality time with each other. A lot of people don’t sit down and talk to each other and let their feelings out, and many do not think things through thoroughly before they act. Parents especially need to think about the effect their conversations and actions have on their families.  

While I honestly think that most people believe that everyone charged with a crime is entitled to the best defense he can obtain, I don’t think Roeder’s colleagues are helping his case any by their insistence that his crime was justified.

No matter the problem, violence is never the solution.

You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at

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