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April 2, 2005

There is no statute of limitations for murder

Topics: Action Items

This email comes at an appropriate time. BlogsForTerri has been contacted by several national groups asking to join forces with BlogsForTerri and the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in fighting back the euthanasia movement in the U.S., strongly supporting an investigation of possible injustices that may have resulted in Terri's starvation and dehydration, and helping people to understand the difference between a life-supporting "Will to Live" and the euthanasia-supporting "Living Will." Strategic planning for this action is ongoing and will intensify later next week after the Mass for Terri. As previously announced, BlogsForTerri is expanding it's membership to an even 1000 bloggers and is increasing it's posting authors to at least 20.


From an attorney, by email:

There is no statute of limitations for murder.

NOW is the time for Governor Jeb Bush to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the entire sad saga of the court-ordered starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo, and to empanel a grand jury to indict whoever needs to be indicted.

NOW is the time for him to take action. If he was unwilling to be held in contempt of court while she was alive, he at least owes her and the Schindler family and all residents of Pinellas County who depend on the Sheriff's Office and the State Attorney and DCF for protection to find out what happened and to hold people accountable, no matter their position.

Now is the time.

Please send this out on your e-mail lists and ask people to send it on to their trees. Press Jeb to act to uphold Florida law now.

Posted by richard at April 2, 2005 11:05 PM


Articles Related to Action Items:

Comments

If the order for Terri's execution came from higher up than the president of the U.S., there is no way this will be investigated, unless they go through another charade as they did with Terri's rescue.

If it didn't come from higher up, thereby hogtieing president, governor, DFC and more, why isn't Terri alive today and her executioners in jail already?

This is a question all intelligent people should be asking.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 3, 2005 12:07 AM

I got this from theempirejournal.com
Does this mean that Gov. Bush had to sign this amendment in 1999 right before Terri's tube was pulled the first time?????????? Look mainly at the 3rd paragraph.

theempirejournal:

Once apprised of their son-in-law’s plans, the Schindlers initiated action to stop the removal of the feeding and in May, 1998, Felos filed a petition to do so before Sixth Circuit Court Judge George W. Greer. Although the initial proceedings had been in St. Petersburg before Shames, Felos seemingly intentionally judge shopped to seek out Greer in Clearwater to file the death warrant petition.

At that time, under Florida Statutes, a feeding tube was not considered artificial life support. In April, 1999, House Bill 2131 was introduced in the Florida House by the Elder Affairs and Long Term Care Committee.

Gus Bilikaris was a member of that committee----and a member of the board of directors at Hospice of Florida Suncoast with Felos---and a campaign contributor to George W. Greer. On Oct. 1, 1999, the legal definition of life prolonging procedures was amended under Florida law to add “including artificially provided sustenance and hydration which sustains, restores or supplants a spontaneous vital function.

Four months later, the Schiavo/Felos petition to remove the gastric feeding tube of Terri Schiavo went to trial without jury----to be solely decided by Judge Greer. On Feb. 11, 2000, Greer signed the order authorizing Michael Schiavo to remove Terri’s assisted feeding ruling that Michael Schiavo’s self-serving hearsay testimony, prohibited under law, constituted clear and convincing evidence that Terri Schiavo would not want to live.

Posted by: LauraB at April 3, 2005 12:21 AM

Laura, yes it is true, that Jeb signed that into legislation. However, at the time of signing he was not aware of this situation and probably had not thought about the wide ranging implications.

He tried to correct the situation in his efforts to save her, but I believe that he was outmanouvered by a slimey fox.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 3, 2005 12:36 AM

Laura-your posting is exactly why this will probably never get settled. In many ways-as much as I hate it-you hate-many of us hate it-the law was followed here-sort of-subject to interpretation. It is horrible, horrible law but from what I understand was mainly put in place for those patients who, for instance had termanal cancer and were refusing food of their own valition because they are to sick to eat, patients who are dying-which we know Terri was not. So there lies the problem. Tricky laws, and those who SHOULD have known better than to sign them. The laws-judges-these are what we have a chance of changing.

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 3, 2005 1:04 AM

We need to avoid recriminations over what could or could not be done. There will be an investigation into this whole affair. I cannot imagine that either George or Jeb Bush are going to allow this probate judge get away totally with his behaviour, especially his contempt for Congress. There are too many unresolved issues that have arisen as a result of Terri's plight.

The fact is the Bush brothers were outsmarted by a man who is as cunning as a fox. However, it is because he is as cunning as a fox, that he has not realised that the death of Little Red Riding Hood is going to lead to his own downfall.

The following issues need to be investigated:

1. guardianship abuse. This is an issue that is very much a part of Terri's plight. Pinellas County has a bad name because the guardians there abuse the system of guardianships, and there is the matter of the failure of the Probate judge (Greer) to oversight the mandated filing of guardian returns.

2. The circumstances surrounding Terri's collapse, as well as the manner in which investigations into her abuse were stymied by those who were in charge of the various departments that were interested in her case.

3. The issues of conflict of interest for the judge in this case. To what extent was he affected by the receipt of campaign funds from the attorneys representing Michael Schiavo? (only one aspect of the conflicts of interest)

4. Setting up a victims of abuse unit in Pinellas County. If this does not already exist in the county then it needs to be in place as soon as possible, complete with an independent medical examiner but working for the DCF.

5. Stricter laws for the exercise of duties of the guardian. This is separate from the corruption issue. Guardians should not necessarily have control over the power of medical attorney

6. An investigation into the running of the Suncoast Florida Hospice is well overdue. This investigation needs to be announced without further delay.

The main issue is to clear up the corruption in Pinellas County that allowed for this travesty of justice to happen in the first place.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 3, 2005 3:57 AM

Chooseforlife, the legislature of Florida tried to pass an amendment to that law but the Democrats refused to budge. The Dems in your country are becoming more and more irrelevant because they are not acting with justice, instead they are using self-interest.

Posted by: Maggie4life at April 3, 2005 4:01 AM

Is The Church of Scientology involved in some sinister way in the murder of Terri Schindler? In Clearwater, Florida, The Church of Scientology is extremely powerful (and wealthy). If its tentacles reach into every corner of the government/law enforcement, stretching as far as the governor, I fear there will never be an investigation into Terri's murder.

Posted by: MaryAnnR at April 3, 2005 8:56 AM

It saddens me just how pro-death some people are in this country. I was equated to "Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Lenion, Timothy McVeigh and John Brown" purely because I said I put life above law, particularly innocent life. That's just sick. It's like Orwells 1984 - if you don't agree, you are falsely labelled (in this case a terrorist) and condemned. That sort of thinking is just unbeleiveable.

http://john.hoke.org/index/asylum/comments/rest_in_peace/#2819

Posted by: demonsurfer at April 3, 2005 10:04 AM

I read this in the Sunday paper and think we should all reflect on it -

"Glenn Reynolds, a Tennessee law professor and conservative Internet blogger, said online the other day that 'respecting the courts' role in the system, and not rushing to overturn all the rules because we don't like the outcome, [is about] being a member of civilized society rather than a mob. I thought conservatives knew this.'"

Posted by: Blogging Beth at April 3, 2005 10:39 AM

MaryAnnR,

e-mail me at tiptopd05@yahoo.com

demonsurfer,

I've come to the conclusion that the anti-life (Terri) bunch are as spiritually dead as the Dodo bird. The truth is there for everyone that wants it. If they want it, they'll look for it, if they don't want it you couldn't get it into them with an IV. Be there for the ones who are looking and treat the others as Jesus treated the bad thief, ignore them. In the meantime keep up your quest for the truth, leave no stone unturned. God bless.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 3, 2005 10:45 AM

I write this with a saddened heart.

I know a lot of people believe that the Bush brothers were tricked into all of this. But I beg to differ. I don't completely think they are innocent in all of this.
On Easter I was devistated when Pres. Bush told us to have a happy Easter. I couldn't. Terri was dieing. I was mourning. He said nothing about Terri on Easter.
I just believe they could've done something. I am just going to keep my eyes peeled and my heart open to the Lord's voice. I know my heart didn't feel right about what happened.

Posted by: LauraB at April 3, 2005 10:59 AM

Thanks Mary. I guess many people just can't reach that sixth and highest level of moral development, the morality of universal ethical principles. (Kohlberg)

Posted by: demonsurfer at April 3, 2005 11:19 AM

Yes, we can't just run rampant demanding tons of laws be changed. But I do feel in the Schiavo case, the court system failed. It likely happens more than we realize, but as this case was so publicized, it's come to light. Maybe it's just my own ignorance but it seemed that the circle that Greer ran with ran the show, and when all the other courts rejected appeals and what not, they just looked at Greer's stuff and said ok, not even looking at the evidence, the new testimonies, etc. Irregardless, the case is making me and others want to learn more about how the system works, which is a good thing... to be educated, and to care.

Posted by: Foug at April 3, 2005 11:23 AM

Foug and all,

Take a gander at this: Swift Judicial Probe Should End Scandal

post@vicksburg.com

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 3, 2005 11:37 AM

Regarding what Glenn Reynolds said and that someone quoted above.....

Yes we should respect the law, yes we don't want to turn into a mob that goes around changing whatever law leads to outcomes we don't like but the Terri situation is about neither.

If we exalt "law" above all else we end up with tyranny. For whoever makes the laws will have the final say and power through those laws over us.

There is something even higher than man's laws. Namely the Creator who according to the Declaration of Independence gave us inaliable rights among whom is the right to life. No man-made law has either the authority or the right to take away those rights given to us by our Creator. By him there are wrongs and rights in life that man-made law cannot change. No man-made law can make a wrong, right. Nor make a right, wrong.

The idea that man-made law is supreme is based on the notion that there is no absolute right and wrong above such law. That one man's right is another man's wrong and that concepts of right and wrong are all relative according to how each person views things.

If man-made law is supreme then might makes right, for whoever is in a position of power to either make the laws or interpret them will ultimately rule over those without that power.

Man-made law, in so far as it reflects what is truly right and wrong, good and just, should be obeyed by all of us. But when it does not, such law is no law at all and should be overturned, ignored, disobeyed, and given no respect.

That is not mob rule. That is not ignoring a law we do not like. It is acknowledging and living by a higher law. Namely that of our Creator whose standards of right and wrong are above man-made law.

Ultimately this all comes down to whether we choose to believe that there is a Creator whose higher laws are supreme. Or whether we choose to believe that man is his own God.

We cannot have it both ways. Either there is a higher law which we are to follow when man-made law does not reflect it or else man, is the supreme law-maker such that whoever has the power to both make those laws and/or interpret them will reign over his fellow man.

The U.S. was founded by men who believed in the supremacy of a higher law, the higher law of God. Take that away and we end up undermining the very foundation of America. The very notion of government by the people, for the people, and of the people based on inaliable rights that no government can give or take away from the people.

Carlos

Posted by: Carlos at April 3, 2005 1:59 PM

In my opinion.

I think we need to be very careful not to fuel the belief that those who supported the Shindler's fight for Terri are extremest people who jump off the deep end. I believe that to a degree we all get set up to run around screaming foul over ever little thing. No one is going to listen to what we have to say if all we do is scream and hollar. I will tell you right now that is one of the reasons that people have listened to Felos. He comes as calm and rational. Devious, but calm and rational and unflappable.

If there is going to be the chance to create change we have to learn all we can about how the legal system functions and the government and use FACTS and their OWN WORDS and LAWS against them. We have to learn to beat them at their own game using their rules! It can be done.

The laws don't really need a great deal of revision, it is more a matter of having all of the laws followed instead of ennie meenie minie moe! There have been plenty of mistakes and laws broken in this case. With the facts presented properly to the right people I believe change is possible.

I'm not saying don't complain and vent. There is plenty to complain and vent about. I'm saying we need to be sure to not get stuck there and not accomplish anything. I just think we need to be careful and think about taking a step back and looking at who we would be more likely to respond positively to and then be that person. That is how we will succeed in creating change I think.

That's just my opinion. You certainly don't have to take it for anything more than that.

Posted by: imdll at April 3, 2005 2:01 PM

I completely agree about not coming accross as fanatical and irrational imdll. Well put.

In all likelihood you did not state what you did in response to my post specifically but rather as a general thing to keep in mind.

I would however, like to add to my previous comments in saying that many people who exalt law as being supreme are not even aware of the implications of such a view for the establishment of eventual tyranny. The kind of tyranny that the Founding Fathers foresaw and tried to protect us from.

Despite that, I am not sure that the word "tyranny" should be bantied about, however accurate it may be to describe what is starting to happen through the judiciary in the U.S., but we of this coalition should not be taken in by statements seeming to sound very reasonable, knowledgeable, and impartial but whose basis is that man-made law is supreme. Such statements, even if made by "famous" persons like Glenn Reynolds, show a deep ignorance for the kind of tyranny that can ultimately result from making man-made law supreme over us all.

Carlos

Posted by: Carlos at April 3, 2005 2:20 PM

The problem with Reynolds and his ilk is they don't understand that certain rights are being trampled upon when they keep yowling about the "rule of law" and "separation of powers," both of which are totally phony when it comes to matters like the Schiavo case.

Well, the law is supposed to defend the weakest people in our society, too, and those people should have the right to due process, which is ALSO in the Constituttion.

Terri's rights to due process were violated again and again and again, solely because she was disabled and forced to have as her guardian somebody who didn't have her best interests at heart.

Posted by: Susan Nunes at April 3, 2005 2:59 PM

Carlos,

Wonderfully expressed and beautifully written. The clearest explanation I have read. May I have your permission to quote you in explaining the implications to others? Thank you!

Posted by: juleni at April 3, 2005 3:08 PM

Anyone may quote whatever I say to use it anywhere. You don't even have to attibute it to me :). If you can use whatever I have said to enlighten one's to not fall into the trap of thinking that man-made law should be supreme, especially in view of the Founding Fathers of the U.S. declaring otherwise, I will consider my words well said and well used.

Posted by: Carlos at April 3, 2005 3:16 PM

Why shouldn't we try and change laws we do not like? Why shouldn't we try and change laws that hurt innocent life? Isn't that what people do when they are unhappy with something?

Personally I think that the "other side" does not want us to start thinking about changing laws and getting rid of corrupt judges who do not follow the law-thus the criticism and "fanatic " remarks. Look at what happened in the 2004 elections-conservatives can make change happen and that scares them so of course they are going to make us feel like we will be labeled by doing what we KNOW is right.

Trying to change laws is NOT being a fanatic. Bombing buildings is being a fanatic, Making threats is being a fanatic. (And for the record I do not think anyone here is that kind of a person) Fighting for the few things we can change, that is doing what is right. Just my opinion.

On another quick note can anyone answer my question from a few posts ago-Why are federal judges elected for life? What is the purpose behind that-Does anyone know?

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 3, 2005 4:05 PM

One more small note though- I DO completely agree that learning as much about the current law as possbile and how to use it is a very, very good idea. Laws tend to take a long time to change and implement so while I firmly beleive there are laws to be changed-I can go with the idea of using the current ones in the meantime. Now I just need to learn them:)

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 3, 2005 4:11 PM

LauraB, regarding the Bushes, I agree with you. It should be noted that Janet Reno sent people in to "rescue" Elian Gonzales and send him back to a Communist dictatorship. And of course, that happened in good old Florida. Some complained about it (many liberals applauded the action) but overall, it didn't have any impact on the Clinton Administration as far as charges, impeachment inquiries, etc. If Clinton's Administration could do that, the Bush Administration could have done something in my opinion.

Bush continues to make statements about the Culture of Life. The Republican Party platform has a statement about supporting a Culture of Life. Yes, Bush has signed some bills into law (at least one of which was nullified by the courts - not that Bush is responsible for that). He has made some cute little speeches. But actions speak louder than words, in my opinion. I should note that I am a registered Republican (for the time being) and voted for Bush as President twice. I consider the 2004 vote as mainly a vote for the only viable opponent to John Kerry.

Posted by: cw at April 3, 2005 5:00 PM

Always -

I found this on the Internet. It might help answer your question. It is interesting the there are many pros and cons regarding this issue.

: Why are judges elected for life?

- Anonymous, South Carolina

A: Depends on which judges you're talking about.

As dictated by the Constitution, the president appoints and the Senate confirms federal judges, who have their jobs forever unless they're impeached for failing to "hold their offices during good behavior."

The Constitution also says federal judges have to be paid, and their salaries can't be reduced while they're in office. The founders reasoned that judges could make more independent, uninfluenced rulings if they were assured that they wouldn't be fired or have their pay docked for unpopular opinions. And, because many judges make decisions that don't sit well with the general public, the founders tried to insulate the judiciary from the sway of public opinion.

But individual states have their own court systems, and only some of them involve a similar appointment process in which the governor selects judges. Other states use a "merit selection" panel that picks appropriate candidates.

Many states hold judicial elections. Some of those elections are nonpartisan, and the candidates aren't allowed to discuss their views on legal or moral issues; other states allow judges to run on a party ticket and rack up campaign contributions.

States also vary on the length of their judicial terms. Some state judges serve for life, and others run for office every few years. In some states, judges run unopposed in "retention" elections near the end of their terms, and voters choose whether to oust them.

Legal experts and voting advocates debate which system is best. Holding elections opens up judges to charges of corruption; we don't want our judicial decision-makers beholden to their campaign contributors. On the other hand, judges who serve for life can't be held responsible to the citizens they're supposed to be serving.

Posted by: Blogging Beth at April 3, 2005 5:16 PM

Did anyone find and read the article, Swift Judicial Probe Should End Scandal? It is very pertinent to these comments.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 3, 2005 5:20 PM

There can be no doubt that bad law needs to be changed. And believe me, the laws responsible for this situation need changing. I believe however it has to be changed in a deliberative manner. I have never been a fan of "emergency legislation" or legislation passed in immediate response to a crisis. Both are often badly written and easily struck down. I am hoping that is what Glenn meant by what he said.
But bad law wasn't the only thing at work here. Gross unethical conduct by a probate judge and an agendized doctor were at play here as well. Not to mention, lest we all forget, inhuman conduct by a bigamous (morally if not legaly) husband.

Posted by: JRob at April 3, 2005 5:30 PM

Maggie4life, I personally would never belong to the Democratic Party unless there were radical changes. I agree that they are becoming irrelevant (at least in my opinion). On the other hand, I think the Republican Party is broken too. The Republicans have talked about a Culture of Life in their platform. Yet in my opinion, they have done little to demonstrate this.

I am a registered Republican for the moment. The next few months will determine whether I continue that registration.

The first problem with the Republican party is that GREER is a Republican. That is an embarassment in my opinion.

Some of the Florida Senators who failed Terri Schiavo (in my opinion) are Republicans. Again, an embarassment for me.

The Republicans have control of Congress. They had subpoenas for Terri Schiavo and various others. They were not enforced. Of course, all but the subpoena for Terri Schiavo may still be enforced. We have to see what happens with the remaining subpoenas.

Tom DeLay (House Majority Leader) and Rick Santorum (Senator from Pennsylvania) claim they want to deal with this. I hope this is not just more "hot air."

There are of course Republicans who are in favor of legalized abortion such as Arlen Spector (the other Senator from Pennsylvania) and Chris Shays (House member form Connecticut). Chris Shays also voted against the legislation to help Terri.

I think the Republicans need to do some serious soul-searching. If possible, they should evict Greer from the party in my opinion.

Posted by: cw at April 3, 2005 5:37 PM

Carlos,

You have stated exactly what I have been trying to get across to people.

All I have been hearing, from friends at a poetry site that I belong to and people at work and ad nauseum from the talking heads on TV is that the rule of law has to be honored. Says who? I learned in grade school that you don't have to obey a law, any law, that blatantly violates the higher moral law of God. That is always the supreme law that we owe allegience to.

When did the seeming vast majority of people come under the false and very dangerous notion, as you correctly stated, Carlos, is the underpinning for tyrannical rule, that whatever a court says is the final word, especially in life and death matters, even if the court order or law has been arrived at illegally or is an outright violation of our most basic and primary right granted by God and guaranteed to be protected in the Constitution.

And I do not respect either Jeb or George anymore. They had a moral and Constitutional duty to act, period, and they didn't. They not only let Terri and her family down, the let down the country and the principles upon which it was founded. I wish more people would see just how horrific was their inaction. If either one of them had sent in the National Guard, does anyone honestly think that the local Pinellas police would have been crazy enough to engage in a shoot-out with the military? Absolutely absurd. Which leads me to be increasingly convinced that neither Bush had the political will, nor the courage, to make such a bold move.

God save America.

Posted by: Eyes Wide Open at April 3, 2005 10:08 PM

Carlos, that is a good question! I think that there should be term limits for judges. Listen to Laura Ingraham, radio talk show host. She has been talking about the tyranny of activist judges for a long time and says that what's needed is terms for judges -- 10 for federal judges and 15 for supreme court. She used to clerk for one of the supreme court judges - Thomas, I think.

Posted by: bethtopaz at April 3, 2005 11:41 PM

My comment was posted under the name "Eyes Wide Open" - I don't know how that happened, but I was answering Carlos question. I would like to read the article "Swift Judicial Probe Should End Scandal," but I don't know where to find it. Help me here, please. Thanks, Beth

Posted by: bethtopaz at April 3, 2005 11:54 PM

Blogging Beth-thanks for the information-that is interesting and makes sense-on both sides. I really appreciate it.

Posted by: alwayschooselife at April 4, 2005 3:07 AM

Well, I really don't think we should get into criticizing one political party or the other. I know of MANY Democrats who supported Terri's right to live. Just my humble opinion. ;-)

Also, speaking of Greer... I too am disgusted with him considering himself to be a Christian and a Republican, but as I was told before:

Just as someone standing in a garage doesn't make them a car, someone who says they are a Republican or a Christian, doesn't make them one.

Silly analogy, but it put thing into perspective to me when I was but a wee lass. ;-)

Posted by: Sirena at April 4, 2005 10:51 AM

http://www.clarionledger.com/news/0307/20/lmitchell.html

a link to the post@vicksburg article on "Swift Judicial Probe...." etc/
Written in 2003.

Posted by: abigail at April 4, 2005 11:14 AM

I have a bone to pick. On April 3, 2005 10:04 AM, I posted on this thread about how I was equated to "Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Lenion, Timothy McVeigh and John Brown" purely because I said I put life above law, particularly innocent life. I also gave a link to the particular entry.

Had certain people bothered to check, they would have found that the person who made that comment was NOT the owner of the site. Although the owner of the site, John, does not agree with the views of this website regarding Terri, he discusses it in a civil manner without making personal attacks. I respect John and he is entitled to his opinion, and the fact we can and have discussed matters like this without it becoming personal in the past is the reason I keep coming back to his weblog.

John is a cancer survivor, and I think partly as a result of that trauma, he relates to Terri's position and I believe it is part of the reason he holds a differing view to us as to what Terri would have wanted.

Unfortunately John has been receiving hate mail, thanks to what I posted here. One of the lesser examples was:
"Too bad cancer didn't kill you. You are an unamerican ungodly person who does not deserve the life or freedoms you enjoy as an american."

To the people sending this messages to John, please desist immediately. John did not make the statements equating me to a terrorist, someone else did. If you have any honour or respect, you would also apologize to John for what you have said.

All you have achieved is to lower yourselves to the same level as the person who compared me to a terrorist, and not only that, you have done a disservice to an innocent party as well as contradict everything you claim to stand for, particularly with a comment such as the one above.

I feel ashamed for these people's actions.

Posted by: demonsurfer at April 4, 2005 3:50 PM