Abortion opponent gets life sentence for murder

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Militant abortion opponent James Kopp was sentenced today to life in prison plus 10 years on federal charges for the 1998 murder of a doctor who performed abortions.

Prosecutors had asked for consecutive life sentences for Kopp, who was convicted in 2003 on a state charge of second-degree murder for Barnett Slepian’s death and sentenced to prison.

In January, a federal jury convicted him on related charges that he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act by killing an abortion provider.

The assistant U.S. Attorney also asked for a life sentence on the count of using a firearm, in this case a scope-equipped military assault rifle.

Kopp was given life on the first charge and 10 years on the weapons charge.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and holding what appeared to be a yellow, plastic rosary, Kopp showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He spoke for a full hour before sentencing, rambling between legal cases and his personal feelings about abortion.

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