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