Not So Good Friday
2000 years ago, the world watched as Jesus Christ suffered a long and agonizing death on the cross at the hands of Pontius Pilot. Today, the world watches as Terri Schiavo suffers a long and agonizing death at the hands of her husband and the courts. Her crime... she has been falsely accused of being in a Persistent Vegetative State and having told her husband she would want to die. There is no evidence she ever said that and growing evidence to the contrary now exists. The claim she is in a PVS is also now being disputed by medical professionals including the Directory of Neurological Research at the Mayo Clinic. She has been denied medical treatment and therapy by her husband for the past 13 years that could have helped her regain some of her abilities, possibly even enough to make her own wishes known. Instead, everything was done to try to aggravate her condition and portray Terri as "brain dead", a vegetable surviving only on life support. The testimony of those who have interacted with her has been rejected by the courts. Even the videos that show her awake, aware, and responding to people and things has been ignored. Those videos were taped by her family in violation of Judge Greer’s orders that Mrs. Schiavo be kept isolated from the public, perhaps to preserve the fraud that has been taking place regarding her condition. Her husband wants her dead and the courts have given their complete support to his fraud and misrepresentation without even allowing the woman the benefit of the doubt while the case is being appealed. She would have a better chance of life and stay of execution were she a murderer on death row.
Her husband, Michael Schiavo claims her condition was caused by a potassium imbalance due to Bulimia.. But there is no evidence she was ever bulimic and even if she was, medical experts say it would not have caused a heart attack or the condition she is in now. Seven years after Terri fill into this condition, and Michael was starting a family with another woman, he starts telling the courts he is carrying out his wife's expressed wishes by killing her. His supporters say his determination to see her dead is driven by his devotion to her and her wishes. Where is his devotion to their marriage vows, his devotion to her care both past and present, his devotion to giving her a chance for at least a partial recovery? No, his only devotion is to carrying out her alleged wishes to die, and the courts won't be bothered to take a real look at all of the facts. Witnesses have now come forward to testify that Michael Schiavo repeatedly said, prior to the malpractice trial, that he had no idea what Terri's wishes would be regarding her present condition and dying. But he insisted to the court in 2000, and still does now, that she did make her wishes known to him?
When Michael was suing for $20 million so that he could take care of her for the rest of her natural life, he never once mentioned she had a death wish during the malpractice trial. It was only after he received the $1.2 million settlement that he blocked all therapy and medical care, anything that might help her, and started his crusade to kill her. Judge Greer refuses to admit he may have made a mistake and seems intimidated by anyone challenging his decision and power. In spite of recent convincing evidence and testimony, he refuses to give the benefit of the doubt and admit that there may be grounds for reevaluation.
Earlier this week, Gov. Bush sent agents from the Florida Dept. of Children & Families to rescue Terri from her prison of torture. They were stopped by the Sheriff and Pinella County police under orders of Judge Greer who issued a court injunction to stop them. Both federal and state governments have three "equal" branches of power. Something is very wrong in the laws when the Governor feels he is subordinate to a single Judge. What ever happened to the "balance of power"? Congress passed a law last Sunday ordering a "de novo" trial by the federal courts which was ignored and defied. That law states that the federal court must review all of the evidence in the Schiavo case and arrive at a new ruling. It does not say what that ruling should be, only that there should be a second opinion by the courts. The federal district court in Florida not only has defied Congress (the people), but has also violated a federal law by not acting and it would seem that they couldn't care less. Should this same standard not apply to Gov. Bush and Judge Greer? Why can't Gov. Bush do the same and just ignore Greer's injunction? If it works for one branch of government, then why not for the others?
On Thursday, Michael W. Mitchell, of Rockford, Ill. was arrested after trying to steal a weapon from a gun shop in Seminole Fl. so he could "take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo" according to authorities. Today, a man was arrested for offering a $250,000 contract on the life of Michael Schiavo and Judge Greer on the internet. The public is outraged by the injustice they see going on with this case and the courts, and some are getting desperate as time runs out on Terri. Gov. Jeb Bush has his legal staff working around the clock looking for legal authority to rescue Terri but says he won't exceed the limits of his power. His power of "Executive Order" should be at least equal to Judge Greer's power of injunction under the separation of powers. He should do what needs to be done and worry about hashing out the legalities later. If he allows Terri to die when he has the power to stop it, his political career will be over. He will loose all support from Republicans and doesn't have Democratic support anyway. There is a time for putting politics aside and doing what is right and just.
Florida Clemency law in the Florida State Constitution was written with convicted criminals in mind who have been sentenced by the court to punishment or death.
"Clemency” is defined as:
1. A disposition to show mercy, especially toward an offender or enemy.
2. A merciful, kind, or lenient act.
But the Clemency statute does not say it applies only to convicted criminals.
Article IV, Section 8 of the Florida Constitution states in part:
(a) Except in cases of treason and in cases where impeachment results in conviction, the governor may, by executive order filed with the custodian of state records, suspend collection of fines and forfeitures, grant reprieves not exceeding sixty days and, with the approval of two members of the cabinet, grant full or conditional pardons, restore civil rights, commute punishment, and remit fines and forfeitures for offenses.
Terri Schiavo is no criminal but still was sentenced to death by the court. Shouldn't this same law apply in her case? I'm no lawyer but it just seems to me that Gov. Bush could find grounds for rescuing Terri in spite of Judge Greer. People who know Judge Greer say he is a decent and fair Christian Republican judge who must, and believes he is, going by the law based on the evidence presented in his court. That may well be true, but then why does he continue to refuse to consider new evidence brought to light since his ruling in 2000. Why did he disallow evidence presented by the Shindler family lawyer to be entered into the trial? If his decision is to be based on the evidence presented in court, then why won’t he allow all of the evidence to be considered? Why does he take campaign contributions from George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney when this could clearly indicate a conflict of interest?
Somehow, this has become a political issue, probably because the president and conservatives started speaking out about the injustice they were seeing. The left then has to invoke their policy of opposing everything the president and republicans do. Where is the "party of compassion" now? They gripe about deaths in Iraq, they rejoice in saving the lives of criminals and murders sentenced to death, they fight for the right to life of fish, trees, caribou, and other creatures, but are determined to kill Terri Schiavo. Why? I keep wondering "why?". Perhaps it's because the people who are supporting Terri's right to live are doing what they know to be right and just, not because they are being pressured by "right wing, pro life, religious fanatics". Since the reelection of President Bush, the left has adopted a policy of opposing everything Republicans stand for. Perhaps this is just in keeping with their current policy of obstruction and opposition. It's a hard road to travel. When your opponent keeps doing what is right and just, you have no choice but to do what is wrong and unjust to continue your political opposition.
Last night on Hardball, this new Democrat rhetoric criticizing President Bush for ordering the removal of feeding tubes when Governor of Texas was brought up again by Christopher Hitchens, who keeps insisting that Terri is already "dead" and this effort to save her is all just a Christian right wing conspiracy. Chris Mathews asked him "where can I go to get this information?” Hitchens fumbled for a moment then said "I'm in the Washington phone book". Mathews then clarified his question with "no, I mean where can we find this information [about Bush and feeding tubes]. Hitchens’ reply was "Oh, you mean where did I get the information? I got it from your show and general knowledge of Texas". Mathews quickly changed the subject. Now there's a reliable source, he got it from watching Hardball, no doubt from another liberal guest. Interesting that Chris Mathews didn't know where to find such information considering it came from his show. This would seem to be as credible as the recent fake GOP memo claiming political exploitation of Terri Schiavo, and the Rathergate documents.
There is ever mounting evidence of abuse by Michael Schiavo during his marriage to Terri, evidence that now seems to strongly indicate that her condition is the result of his abuse. This should have been investigated back in 1990, maybe if she had died then it would have been, but since she didn't, the whole thing has remained a mystery. Some of the evidence of abuse didn't materialize until later, such as the bone fractures and head injury. I guess the police just weren't interested, but many of us are now and want to know what really happened. The evidence is mounting up to a frightening scenario of abuse, assault, and attempted murder. And the courts keep siding with the culprit and refuse to review the evidence and interview witnesses.
I can't believe this is happening, it just doesn't make any sense. They won't even give her the benefit of the doubt until the case is settled as they would for a convicted murderer on death row. It's just insane, a tragedy for the family and a disaster for the country. It does show the judicial tyranny we are all living under now which can defy Congress and obstruct the Governor of Texas from saving an innocent woman's life. Un-elected, unaccountable Judges were never intended to be the final authority by the authors of the Constitution but we've all just gotten use it and accepted it as they've seized power in the country. Big mistake! The Constitution makes Congress the final authority because it is supposed to be representative of the people.
The Constitution of the United States of America states in Article 3:
Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.... (This grants Congress the power to establish the courts.)
Section 2. ...In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.
Congress has made a regulation requiring a "de novo" hearing (new trial) in the Schiavo case, the courts ignored and disobeyed it with impunity. It seems that the law is only applied when it supports the execution of Terri Schiavo, but not when it attempts to save her. We have to take power away from the judges and put it back where it belongs, with the people and their elected representatives. This case, at this time, just could start that ball rolling. Perhaps some good will come of this and Terri won’t die in vain after all.
The controversy here is not over a disabled or brain damaged person's right to die, but rather is over the question of whether the courts were given accurate and factual information about Terri's condition that meets the criteria for her starvation. Her family says they were not. All anyone who supports Terri's right to life is asking is for ALL of the evidence to be considered by the court, then reconsider the ruling after considering all facts and testimony of witnesses. The mainstream media is still portraying Terri as "brain dead" and/or in a permanent vegetative state and a large part of the country still believes that according to some polls. They know only what they are told by the MSM. When the facts are in doubt, we should err on the side of life until the issue is resolved. To do otherwise would be the same as executing an innocent man falsely accused of a crime, even after new DNA tests prove him innocent. The left would never stand for that, why do they have a different standard for a disabled woman who has committed no crime? Yes, there were crimes committed, but by Terri's husband, Michael Schiavo. I have good reason to believe he will soon be standing trial on charges of spousal abuse, assault and battery, conspiracy to commit murder (with Atty. George Felos), breach of contract, fraud, and murder if Terri dies. This evil man must be held accountable for his actions against his wife and I believe Terri‘s family will do just that.
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