George Tiller’s Attorneys Try Second Approach in Illegal Abortion Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 30, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

George Tiller’s Attorneys Try Second Approach in Illegal Abortion Case

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 30,

Wichita, KS ( — Attorneys for embattled late-term abortion practitioner George Tiller are trying their new approach in their fight to clear him of 19 charges of doing illegal late-term abortions. They hope to challenge a law limiting the jury size in misdemeanor cases.

A 1981 state law limits the size of a jury in a misdemeanor case to six people, whereas 12 people are required to sit on a jury in a felony case.

Tiller is challenging the constitutionality of that law, according to his attorney Dan Monnat.

"At the time the Kansas Constitution was enacted, that’s what the convention had in mind," he told the Wichita Eagle newspaper.

Monnat said he thinks the legislature overstepped its bounds when it approved allowing a lower number of jurors in misdemeanor cases like Tiller’s.

The Eagle newspaper said a representative of Attorney General Paul Morrison, who has filed the charges against Tiller, did not have a comment on this latest action.

Mary Kay Culp, the head of Kansans for Life, spoke with about the latest action.

"Dr. Tiller has paid good money, up to a million dollars in the last election, to get out of being treated like any other citizen accused of breaking the law," she said. "The courts need to nip this in the bud and treat him like the spoiled child that he is by saying no unequivocally and as soon as possible."

This is the second legal challenge Tiller’s lawyers have filed. The first involved a challenge to the late-term abortion law itself that Tiller is accused of violating.

Tiller is charged with violating a statute requiring a second physician to sign off on any abortions done late in pregnancy.

The doctor must not have any financial connections with the abortion practitioner. Yet, in the 19 cases for which he has been charged, Tiller received a second opinion from abortion practitioner Ann Kristin Neuhaus, who Attorney General Paul Morrison said had financial ties with Tiller.

She he be convicted on all charges and sentenced for the maximum time, he could face 19 years in prison.