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February 24, 2005


Topics: News

- via email tip by Schindler's press office
The U.S.Supreme Court betrays the most innocent and helpless among us when it allows Terri Schiavo to starve.

I don't understand the schizophrenic nature of our judicial system. One group of judges will fight prosecutors to save the life of a man sentenced to death after being convicted of killing eight women. Another group of judges turns their backs on the appeal of a Florida woman, Terri Schindler Schiavo, who is awaiting a death sentence by starvation, handed down by another judge.

Terri has committed no crime, yet she had her day in court without a trial by jury and the local circuit judge deemed her to be guilty of what? What crime? No other state in the union, or the civilized world for that matter, has a death sentence carried out by way of starvation.

On Jan. 24, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to step in and keep Terri Schiavo alive.

Gov. Jeb Bush had successfully lobbied the Legislature to pass a law to keep Terri Schiavo alive. But the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the law was an unconstitutional effort to override court rulings. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has refused without comment to disturb that decision.

I agree with Terri's father in that this is a "judicial homicide." Terri deserves a chance. She can breathe on her own but depends on a feeding tube to stay alive because she cannot swallow on her own. Her parents believe she can recover.


Ken Connor, one of the lawyers who represented Bush at the high court, said, "The reality is that in Florida, convicted capital felons receive more due process protection than Terri Schiavo has received in this case."

A person who needs health care should at the least come under the congressional protection of the Americans with Disabilities Act. How can these people call themselves judges when they are violating the Constitution and The Bill of Rights they pledged to uphold?

Because evil has no reason, we once again see its ugly head in the shameful decision by people dressed in black like the Gestapo of Nazi Germany, giving way to the execution by starvation without a jury trial, required in all capital death cases.

The unprotected and seemingly unimportant life of an American citizen has been denied the most basic tenets of our Constitution. The third branch of our government, the judiciary, has failed all of us again and has given the green light to carry out her execution by thirst, starvation and physical neglect.


If this manner of death were carried out against a dog or turtle, it would be a crime of animal cruelty in Florida, and punishable by imprisonment. Where are all the women's liberation organizations? Where is the ACLU, the self-proclaimed protector of civil liberties? Is not life a civil liberty?

Without that first and foremost right to life being protected by our courts, no other rights are afforded us. Without the sacred right to life, no other rights can be bestowed on us by any government. We have met the enemy and the enemy is certainly hiding behind black robes in courthouses across America.

They can write their psychobabble opinions all day long, but in the final analysis, it comes down to one Divine Law, "Thou shall not kill." The U.S. Supreme Court has betrayed the most innocent and helpless among us and the very God who created Terri Schindler Schiavo in his likeness, endowing her with a soul and certain unalienable rights, the first of which is life.

— John J. McDougall is a former sheriff of Lee County. He lives in Fort Myers.

Posted by richard at February 24, 2005 7:00 AM

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Thank you John J. McDougal for not using your position and prominence to benefit yourself alone. If there was ever a time that politicians need to abandon their professionalistic attitudes it is now. We are in a battle for the soul of our Nation. Those who protect their transient reputations and postions will not escape either once our soul dies.

Posted by: Paula Hall at February 24, 2005 8:09 AM

It just occurred to me that Terri is reportedly having made 2 comments prior to her disability.
One that she would prefer euthanasia to being kept alive.
Two that she was going to divorce her husband.
Why honor the one statement, especially since there is only one witness to it without the other comment having the same respect and that has several witnesses to it. Why not give Terri the divorce she was seeking (and that maybe Michael attempted to kill her for), effectively removing Michael as her guardian. Sounds fair enough to me and alot of other folks I suppose :-) Another thought of mine is to have an artist graphically depict Michael strangling and abusing Terri and show it to her in an attempt to communicate with her getting her reaction. Let's keep fishing folks because there are answers out there. Everyone's doing such a great job. It's simply fabulous. I know we're going to win. I can just feel it.

Posted by: Paula Hall at February 24, 2005 1:12 PM