Wichita, KS – The trial of late-term abortionist George R. Tiller on 19 criminal misdemeanor counts of violating the unaffiliated physician requirement in the Kansas post-viability abortion ban has been delayed yet again. The new trial date, according to court records, has been reset to June 16 at 9:00 AM, raising concerns that the judge may be pandering to Tiller.
“People who are innocent usually want to get their cases over as soon as possible,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “People who are guilty want delay after delay, hoping to postpone inevitable punishment as long as possible. The old adage, ‘justice delayed is justice denied,’ couldn’t be truer.”
The charges were filed on June 28, 2007, by disgraced former Attorney General Paul Morrison, who refused to reinstate 30 more serious criminal counts filed by his predecessor, Phill Kline. Those 30 charges were dismissed by a judge who did not consider the evidence of the case.
A motion to dismiss the current case, filed by Tiller’s attorneys, was heard by Judge Clark Owens on November 2. Tiller is challenging the constitutionality of the law and is requesting a jury of twelve instead of the usual six member jury that the law prescribes for misdemeanor cases. Nearly five months later, Owens has yet to rule, causing a delay in the trial, previously set for March 10.
“The longer Judge Owens drags out Tiller’s criminal case, the more the public will continue to lose faith in the system’s ability to act,” said Newman. “There is very little faith left as it is.”
In a separate matter, a grand jury investigating Tiller has also been delayed pending oral arguments to be heard before the Kansas Supreme Court on April 8.
“Judge Owens’ continued stall tactics may be costing the lives of viable babies that continue to die at Tiller’s mill,” said Newman. “These delays are beginning to look like he is pandering to Tiller without concern for devastating consequences. If Owens can’t make a decision on motions and move the case forward in a timely manner, maybe he should recuse himself and let someone judge the case that can,” said Newman.
Concerns about the Tiller trial delays may be sent to Judge Owens.
Judge Clark Owens
Voice: 660-5620
E-Mail: cowens@dc18.org