A Dane County, Wis., judge on Friday sentenced anti-abortion activist Ralph Lang to 10 years in prison for a failed plot to kill a doctor at a Madison Planned Parenthood clinic in 2011. Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara said Lang was a dangerous man who had never expressed remorse or said he wouldn't revive his plot if released.
Two years ago, Lang accidentally fired his gun inside a Madison motel room located near a Planned Parenthood clinic. Police were called to the scene, and he was arrested after telling them that he was going "to lay out abortionists because they are killing babies."
In May, he was convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
McNamara said that Lang did not consider the lives of those at the Planned Parenthood clinic when he planned to kill a doctor and told the 65-year-old defendant, "That lack of consideration is what makes you dangerous."
The judge also noted that Lang had not expressed remorse despite many opportunities, leaving the impression that he would attempt the plot again if he were freed. During his testimony, Lang had said he wished he had a machine gun "to mow down" the clinic doctors.
"You have made choices that now require you to be out of society, out of the community," McNamara said, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. "You have forfeited your right to live among us."
In addition to 10 years in prison, Lang was also sentenced to 10 years of supervision and will not be allowed within a mile of any abortion or reproductive health clinic during that period. The length of the prison sentence fell between Assistant District Attorney Robert Kaiser's request for a 20-year sentence and defense attorney Eric Schulenburg's suggestion of three years.
Lang had faced federal charges, which were later dropped, for use of a firearm to intimidate or interfere with those using a program that receives federal funds and for use of a firearm during a violent crime. Federal prosecutors said they could reinstate the charges if the state's prosecution proved insufficient. U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil for the Western District of Wisconsin told the Wisconsin State Journal that it was too soon to know whether the federal charges would be reinstated.