UPDATE, 12:35p: Troy Newman of Operation Rescue just texted the Tiller jury has gone into deliberation.
Today, as a freak blizzard prepares to descend upon much of KS, a jury of 6 is anticipated to hand down a verdict of abortionist George Tiller on whether he sought a 2nd opinion for late-term abortions from a doctor with whom he had financial ties.
First, Jenn Giroux explained in Renew America today there are reasons to remain pessimistic, although Giroux closed her piece by saying Tiller’s March 25 verbals slips on the stand may have turned around an anticipated bleak verdict for the good guys:

… [KS Gov. Kathleen] Sebelius[‘s]… hand-picked successor to [Attorney General Phill] Kline, Paul Morrison… filed the weakest charges possible, probably planning to plea Tiller out…. But before the plan was fully implemented, Morrison was forced to resign in scandal….

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Sebelius… picked Stephen Six [pictured left together] to fill out Morrison’s term.
Six is a KS trial attorney who has not held any public position except one provided by Sebelius….
Six had his hands full. He had inherited Morrison’s “technical” charges against Tiller (Morrison having rejected anything more serious)….

It would be unseemly to dismiss what Morrison filed. Well, there are a million ways to throw a case and Six would exercise each one. He ordered his prosecutors to not engage in any more effort to gather information against Tiller. Publicly he stated any further effort would be “an invasion of privacy” even though the charges have nothing to do with patient records. Six told his staff they could solely rely on one witness Kline was able to develop while he was Attorney General.
And so, in the high profile Tiller prosecution that began this week the State presented one witness; only one. That’s it. A witness that Six’s staff had never spoken with….
But Kline also had evidence that Tiller’s 2nd doctor was a laser hair technician… who often “consulted” the patients by phone, didn’t make any diagnosis and simply signed a Tiller form letter stating, “I find the women would suffer severe and irreversible damage to a major bodily function.” This consulting physician claimed she rejected some patients for an abortion but could not produce any evidence of such. Tiller paid her $300 a patient and this was her sole source of income. The problem for Tiller is the law required the second doctor to be “independent” and this second doctor sure seemed like an employee. If so, Tiller is guilty.
No bother, if the State only presented one witness, one juror is likely to hesitate or the Supreme Court can do its thing on appeal and the KS media will fill in the blanks: radical Kline started a witch hunt from the beginning, poor George Tiller everyone is after him, what a waste of tax payers money, etc, etc.
But then George Tiller took the stand in his own defense. In what can only be considered Divine intervention he accidently told the truth. When answering a question about his second doctor Tiller testified: “When she was working for me – correction, when she was providing consultations for the patient …” He also made one more verbal mistake when he referred to Dr. Neuhaus and said, “when someone new is going to join your organization…..”
We can only hope that the jury was paying attention.

For what it’s worth, attorney Megyn Kelly said last night on The O’Reilly Factor she thought Tiller would be convicted. Watching to see if Fox posts video of that segment, which was good. The Associated Press presented the pros and cons last night:

… Judge Clark Owens ruled Thursday that prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to show that Tiller and Ann Kristin Neuhaus had a legal relationship. Owens said jurors will be told in written instructions not to consider that part of the case when reaching their verdict….

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Owens did reject another defense bid for acquittal, saying there was enough evidence for jurors to consider whether Tiller had an illegal financial relationship with Neuhaus, who consulted with patients at Tiller’s Wichita office.
Owens also refused to throw off the jury a man who kept falling asleep during the trial. That juror is an alternate….
According to trial testimony, Tiller’s patients paid Neuhaus $250 to $300 in cash to for providing the consultation. The only way patients could see Neuhaus was to make an appointment with Tiller’s office.
Four people testified during the trial: Tiller, Neuhaus, a clinic manager and an attorney for Tiller.
If convicted, Tiller could face a year in jail or a fine of $2,500 for each misdemeanor charge. The medical board can use even one misdemeanor conviction to investigate revocation of his license….

[Top photo courtesy of KS Jackass; bottom photo courtesy of the AP]

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