A reader points out that the law making it a federal crime to interfere with reproductive health services has what seems be a “balancing” provision extending the same protection to places of worship. In each case,
the crime becomes a capital one the sentance can be life in prison if death results from a violation.
Thus the assassin of Dr. George Tiller potentially faces not one, but two,
capital charges life sentences under Federal law: once for killing an abortion provider and again for doing so in a church.
Under state law, he’d face the death penalty.
Personally, though I have no strong principled objection to capital punishment, in this case I’d be against it. As William III said about one of the non-juring bishops (I’m paraphrasing from memory here; Macaulay tells the story) “He is determined to become a martyr, and I am determined to frustrate him.”* A life sentence will do just fine, thanks.
Footnote And not in the cell next to Ted Kaczyinsi’s, either: “super-max” incarceration is torture. An “ordinary” Level V prison is plenty hard time.
* I think this was about Bishop Ken; if any reader has the quotation handy, please send me an email.
[Updated to correct an error due to hasty reading — by me, I hasten to add, not by my reader, who caught the mistake.]