News Violence

Jury Selection Begins in Trial Against Man Who Allegedly Planned to Kill Abortion Provider

Robin Marty

Ralph Lang's lawyer, Eric Schulenberg, reportedly plans to ask what "constituted an actual attempt to kill someone." During jury selection, Schulenberg drew an apparent parallel between the clinic plot and attempts to hunt wildlife.

It has been two years since he was arrested, and nearly a full year since he was found competent to stand trial. Now, Wisconsin anti-choice extremist Ralph Lang will stand trial for first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly plotting to kill a doctor at a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic. The jury was selected this week, and Lang’s defense lawyer, Eric Schulenberg, set the stage for trying to keep his client out of jail. Schulenberg’s defense strategy will center around the question “What does it mean to ‘attempt’ to kill someone?”

Lang was arrested in May 2011 after his gun went off in a Madison hotel room, shooting a door. When police arrived, Lang told them he was staying there so he could go to the nearby Planned Parenthood clinic and “lay out abortionists because they are killing babies.”

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Lang’s lawyer will ask “whether Lang’s actions constituted an actual attempt to kill someone.” While questioning potential jurors, the Journal says Schulenberg asked “some who hunt and fish what they believe the moment to be when they ‘attempted’ to kill a deer or catch a fish.”

There’s no mention in the article of whether anyone in the jury pool reacted to the idea of comparing a plan to murder at least one person to a recreational hobby or sport, or the implied connection between someone who provides abortions and an animal.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Lang is also facing federal charges for “interfering with recipients of a federally funded program,” but that case will not be heard until August.

News Abortion

Wisconsin Man Sentenced to Ten Years for Plotting to Kill a Planned Parenthood Doctor

Robin Marty

Ralph Lang was arrested in 2011 for plotting to kill a doctor at a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic after his gun went off in a local motel room. When police arrived at the motel, Lang told them that he intended "to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies.”

A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for plotting to kill an abortion provider, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Ralph Lang was arrested in 2011 for plotting to kill a doctor at a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic after his gun went off in a local motel room. When police arrived at the motel, Lang told them that he intended “to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies.”

In May, Lang was convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Lang’s prison sentence will be reduced by two-and-a-half years because of time served while undergoing competency hearings. Lang also was given ten years of extended supervision after his release.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara told Lang, “You have made choices that now require you to be out of society, out of the community. You have forfeited your right to live among us.” Judge McNamara also noted that Lang has never said his actions were wrong or that he would not follow through on his plot if he were free.

Lang still faces federal charges as well, for “using a firearm to intimidate or interfere with others using a program that receives federal assistance, and with using a firearm during a crime of violence,” according to the Journal.

News Violence

Man Planning to Murder Planned Parenthood Doctor Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

Robin Marty

It's been over a year since the Richard Lang was arrested, but now he may finally go to trial.

In May of 2011, Wisconsin man Richard Lang was arrested after he shot the walls in a Madison hotel. Lang admitted his plans to go to the local Planned Parenthood clinic and murder the doctor who provides abortions there and was arrested on both state and federal charges.

Now, Lang has finally been ruled competent to stand trial.

Via Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune:

A Marshfield man accused of planning to kill a doctor at a Madison abortion clinic was found competent Thursday by a Dane County judge to stand trial.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Ralph W. Lang, 64, had been found incompetent two months ago and was committed to a state mental health facility in Madison for treatment to restore his competency. On Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan found Lang competent after psychologist Dr. Laurence Trueman presented his mental evaluation and was questioned by Assistant District Attorney Robert Kaiser and Lang’s attorney Eric Schulenburg.

Flanagan concluded that Lang can understand the charge and proceedings against him and is capable of assisting with his defense, the legal threshold for competency in criminal matters.

Lang’s planned murder signaled the beginning of escalating violence against clinics and providers in the state. Francis Grady was found guilty of guilty of federal arson for trying to burn down another Wisconsin Planned Parenthood in April of 2012. Grady will be sentenced in the fall.

Lang returns to court August 3rd.