Justification Defense OK'd in Tiller Case

In Kansas Tuesday, a county judge refused to block what's called a justification defense by Scott Roeder, who is on trial for the murder of Dr. George Tiller, who performed late-term abortions.

Roeder claims the shooting was justified, because he believed he was saving the lives of unborn children.

CBS News anchor Katie Couric spoke with CBS chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford about the case.

Couric: The judge insisted this case would not be about abortion. How can he make those assurances?

Crawford: He said this case was not going to be about abortion but the prosecutors today suggested that is exactly what he's going to get because behind all the complicated legal arguments, we heard in today's hearing there was a simple fact. The judge is going to let Scott Roeder try to make the case that killing Dr. Tiller was justified that's going to keep the fight over abortion at the center of this trial no matter what the judge says.

Couric: In fact abortion rights groups are outraged. What are they most concerned about?

Crawford: Well, they stay judge is giving Roeder this public forum to justify killing an abortion doctor. One provider said it's like that judge has put a target on his back. There's another issue here: Roeder is going to try to argue that a jury should convict him only of manslaughter not first degree murder. So that could mean five years in prison. The judge obviously suggested that's not going to happen but abortion rights groups say if it does it would be open season.