Plumb Lines

June 1, 2009

Scott P. Roeder, Live Man, Flesh and Blood

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michael E. van Landingham @ 8:39 am

I just discovered an interesting aspect of the story I linked to in my previous post. While I was referring to everyone being denied right of homicide as a universal principle, Scott P. Roeder, who is accused of killing George Tiller in a Kansas church, seems to have a past indicating he not only believes in justifiable murder, but he rejects the validity of United States law:

Roeder, who in the 1990s was a manufacturing assemblyman, also was involved in the “Freemen” movement.

“Freemen” was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system, which they called common-law courts. Adherents declared themselves exempt from laws, regulations and taxes and often filed liens against judges, prosecutors and others, claiming that money was owed to them as compensation. […]

Roeder, who then lived in Silver Lake, Kan., was stopped because he had an improper license plate that read “Sovereign private property. Immunity declared by law. Non-commercial American.” Authorities said the plate was typical of those used by Freemen.

This article from the Washington Monthly explains a similar movement and how criminal defendants use it to badger judges. (As a bonus, it’s about Baltimore.) This is typically how a court appearance unfolds with such a defendant:

I am Shawn Earl Gardner, live man, flesh and blood,” he proclaimed. Every time the judge referred to him as “the defendant” or “Mr. Gardner,” Gardner automatically interrupted: “My name is Shawn Earl Gardner, sir.

It could prove very difficult to try Roeder if he refuses to acknowledge the sovereignty of United States courts, or that they even have a right to name him as a defendant. At least we still have the words of Nicholas II.

Michael E. van Landingham

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1 Comment »

  1. […] — Michael E. van Landingham @ 1:01 pm What with right-wing extremists running around killing abortion providers and attacking the Holocaust museum in D.C. (per the Department of Homeland Security’s […]

    Pingback by Extremism Defined « Plumb Lines — June 12, 2009 @ 1:02 pm


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