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March 25, 2005

Kevorkian Prosecutor Reaffirms Governor's Authority Under State Criminal Laws to Prevent Death of Terri Schiavo

Topics: Legal affairs

Former prosecutor of Jack Kevorkian, Richard Thompson, reaffirmed Thursday morning the authority of Florida Governor Jeb Bush to utilize state criminal laws to prevent the death of Terri Schiavo. Pointing to two legal memos prepared by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which were delivered to Governor Bush in October of 2003, Thompson again urged Bush to launch a formal criminal investigation into the facts surrounding the disability of Schiavo.

Copies of the letters sent to Governor Bush can be viewed at http://www.thomasmore.org

The two letters dated October 15th and 16th point to the constitutional authority of Governor Bush to order the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate violations of criminal laws. The letters cite a number of facts suggesting Terri Schiavo is a victim of domestic abuse and neglect, and may be a victim of domestic violence. Furthermore, the letters point out that officials from the Florida Department of Children and Family Services have the authority to enter the premises where Schiavo is currently being held and remove her if they believe that medical care is necessary to avert a likely risk of death or serious injury.

The October 15 letter concludes that a growing number of facts establish probable cause to "conduct a full criminal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the disability of Ms. Schiavo. To date, the facts of this case have not yet been viewed through the lens of a criminal investigation. Shamefully, the government's investigatory resources have not been brought to bear on discovering the truth in this case."

Speaking Thursday, Thompson once again urged Governor Bush to launch a formal criminal investigation and remove Terri Schiavo from the custody of her current guardian. He further indicated that the consent of Schiavo's guardian is not necessary to obtain custody of Terri. Thompson also offered the assistance of attorneys from the Thomas More Law Center to assist the Governors staff if needed.

The two legal opinions were prepared and delivered to Governor Bush in October of 2003, after Schiavo's feeding tube was removed. Bush through his aides requested the legal counsel at the time, but instead chose to work with the Florida legislature to pass emergency legislation to prevent the death of Schiavo.

Posted by tim at March 25, 2005 3:13 AM


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