Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Suspect admits to Tiller murder, will attempt necessity defense

By Jason Hancock | 11.09.09 | 3:44 pm

The Associated Press has reported that Scott Roeder has confessed to the murder of Kansas abortion doctor George Tiller and plans to go forward with a legal defense promoted by Des Moines anti-abortion activist Dave Leach.

Scott Roeder (mugshot)

Scott Roeder (mugshot)

Leach has been pressing Roeder for months to use the so-called “necessity defense,” claiming even if he is found guilty it would open the door for future use of the legal maneuver to defend actions against abortion providers. In August, Leach drafted a legal brief for Roeder using that argument, which says a crime may be permissible if it is committed in order to avoid a much greater harm.

Leach produced a series of videos explaining why he believes the necessity defense is so important. The videos feature two young girls, surrounded by stuffed animals and pretending to be reporters, interviewing Leach about whether a “pro-lifer can shoot an abortionist and still get a trial of the only contested issue in the case by jury.” Leach’s hope is that by confessing to the all the facts of the case, including the murder itself, the judge will be forced to allow the jury to hear arguments on the necessity defense.

Leach even organized an online auction with the goal of hiring an attorney willing to argue that defense.

Judges across the country have uniformly rejected that argument, saying that since abortion is legal it is protected by law. Margaret Raymond, a law professor at the University of Iowa who previously practiced as a criminal defense attorney, told the Iowa Independent in August that the likelihood of a judge allowing this defense quite small.

“Typically, you don’t get to use that defense in murder cases,” she said at the time. “The problem with a necessity defense in this case is that it is hard to say that something that the law permits is an act that must be prohibited at the cost of death.”

Raymond says the argument could prove problematic for Roeder, since it involves confessing to a crime.

Leach could not be reached for comment.

Follow Jason Hancock on Twitter


Comments

  • dmdunbar

    Terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

    I don't necessarily support abortion… but I am DECIDEDLY anti-terrorism.

  • dmdunbar

    Terrorism: the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

    I don't necessarily support abortion… but I am DECIDEDLY anti-terrorism.

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