American Samizdat

Thursday, January 11, 2007. *
An anti-abortion extremist defending himself against charges of killing a doctor decided not to cross-examine the man's widow. Instead, he gave her an apology.

"Mrs. Slepian, I just wanted to say I'm sorry. I respect you and your family," James Kopp, 52, said quietly to Lynne Slepian, wife of Dr. Barnett Slepian, after her testimony Tuesday at the start of Kopp's federal trial. Kopp, who is already serving 25 years to life on a state conviction of second-degree murder, is charged with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances act by killing Slepian, who provided abortions. [...]

Kopp used his opening statement to tell jurors that Slepian's death was "a full-bore, 100 percent tragedy" but was not murder because it was not malicious or premeditated. He has acknowledged planning the shooting for a year and then firing a high-powered military rifle with telescopic sights from the woods behind the Slepian home, but he has said he meant only to wound the doctor to prevent him from performing abortions. "Shoot them in the head, blow up a car, riddle their body with bullets like they do in the movies. That's how you kill someone" with premeditation, Kopp said.

[Article continues at link. I'd like to live in a world where people can tell the difference between movies and 2,000 year old folk tales by illiterate goat farmers on the one hand and real life on the other. Why, with the best access to education in human history all around them, are so many people still so very stupid?]
posted by Trevor Blake at 7:15 AM
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