The PP Shooter Wants To Represent Himself

At a motions hearing on Wednesday, the gunman in the recent Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic shooting, Robert Dear, has told the court he will represent himself. Dear faces over 100 felony charges related to the incident on Nov. 27 that killed three. In a previous court date, Dear admitted guilt, stating that he was, "a warrior for the babies." While authorities still offer no motive, in another semi-coherent statement from just after his arrest, he stated, "No more baby parts." Most recently, he expressed to Judge Gilbert Martinez his desire to represent himself: "I do not want them as my attorneys. I want to exercise my constitutional right to defend myself." Judge Martinez ordered Dear to attend a mental competency evaluation for at least 60 days in a state hospital. He is expected back in court as of Feb. 24.

Cameras were not permitted during court on Wednesday, as it was a hearing on further proceedings. The media rules in Colorado only allow judges to grant larger media coverage for advisements and arraignments. These rules will therefore remain until Dear's arraignment, which may not occur until further motions, hearings, status conferences, and proceedings transpire. Dear was initially held without bail on a suspicion of first-degree murder.

Dear's decision to self-represent arose after one of his attorneys, Daniel King, suggested Dear was not competent to stand trial. Notwithstanding that his request to abandon his legal representation with over 100 felony charges may, in fact, speak to his ability to stand trial, Dear endeavored to fire his lawyers in the name of perceived constitutionality. Of his representatives, King also served on the defense team for Aurora theater gunman, James Holmes. It is uncertain whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty, and the judge has not yet ruled on Dear's application for self-representation.

This tragic event is upsetting to so many who depend on the healthcare services Planned Parenthood provides. For 98 years, Planned Parenthood has aided women, men, and young people with education, information, and services to make responsible choices about sex and reproduction. With millions of visits to Planned Parenthood each year, and millions dependent on their services, it is understandable that this terrible incident hits home for many Americans.

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In an interview shortly after the event, CEO Cecile Richards stated, "It is really disturbing to see the kind of hateful rhetoric about Planned Parenthood, about the women who come to us, about the doctors who provide health care. It’s very hard to see these kinds of violent incidents that I think sometimes this rhetoric fuels." America must stand strong in this time of adversity, especially in this tense and inconsistent political climate. To make a difference, donate to Planned Parenthood, and they will match it for a limited time.