Eric Rudolph's Closing Statement
Now that abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph has received two life sentences for killing an off-duty cop in a 1989 blast, the betting can begin on how long he'll last in prison.
Rudolph was spared the death penalty as part of plea agreement, but nothing tamped down the emotions at his sentencing. From an AOL News account:
"The full responsibility for this would have been the death sentence," Emily Lyons, the nurse maimed by his bomb, said Monday in court.
And Felicia Sanderson, whose husband died in the explosion, said, "I want to tell you there is no punishment in my opinion great enough for Eric Rudolph. When Eric Rudolph leaves this earth and has to face final judgment, I'm going to leave the final judgment in God's hand."
Then Rudolph, who was allowed to speak, lashed out at abortion and the women's clinic that performs them.
"What they did was participate in the murder of 50 children a week," he said. "Abortion is murder and because it is murder I believe deadly force is needed to stop it."
Whole AP version here. Rudolph still faces sentencing related to other bombing deaths, including one at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Violence against abortion clinics has trended downward for a while and it seems unlikely that Rudolph's sentencing will trigger a new cycle of violence. At the same time, the upcoming Supreme Court confirmation hearing will definitely put abortion back in public debate in a big way.
Back in 2003, I looked at the abortion status quo on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade here.