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Kansas court agrees with murder conviction in abortion doctor shooting; orders new sentencing

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TOPEKA, Kansas — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a man who admitted shooting abortion provider Dr. George Tiller to death at his Wichita church in 2009.

But the court also overturned Scott Roeder's sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years and ordered him to be resentenced. Roeder was sentenced under an older version of the state's "Hard 50" law later deemed unconstitutional under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2013.

Roeder testified that he killed Tiller to prevent future abortions. Tiller's clinic in Wichita was among a handful in the U.S. known to perform late-term abortions.

The state Supreme Court rejected Roeder's argument that he should have been allowed to present a defense that the shooting was necessary to stop abortions.

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