Skip to comments.An Execution In Florida — Terri Schiavo On Death Row
Posted on 10/30/2003 3:22:44 PM PST by sweetliberty
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, the average stay on their state's death row prior to execution is 11.76 years. That means that convicted murderers, many of whom have signed confessions, are usually given a decade to use the legal system to pursue the means of extending their lives. Armed with teams of lawyers and abetted by anti-death penalty advocates and judges, they do not receive their due punishment until all legal processes have been exhausted, and sometimes not even then.
Terri Schiavo received her death sentence on February 11, 2000 and her time on death row may be running out. Terri has been sentenced to suffer a fate that the Founding Fathers would surely have considered a 'cruel and unusual punishment'; that of death by starvation. Terri's crime? It is the same for which thousands of innocent, unborn children are legally put to death every year; inconvenience. And, like those unfortunate unborn, Terri seems fated to be executed in full view, and with the support of the same judicial system that goes to excruciating lengths to preserve the lives and rights of murderous felons.
Inconvenience? Yes. It is the same reason we shunt our sick and elderly off to nursing homes, condone abortion and practice varying forms of euthanasia. Forgot to use one of the many, many contraceptives available and became pregnant when the birth of a child would be a nuisance? Just visit the nearest 'family planning' center where they'll eliminate your 'problem' and even help you fill out the health care forms. An older parent becoming troublesome? Merely dial up the nearest 'assisted living' complex and bon voyage! A brain-damaged wife? There are many 'right-to-death' folks just panting at the opportunity to help you pull the plug and make money in the process.
In this modern age of ours, it is not only the sanctity of life that is in question, but that of true compassion in general. In the sad case of Terri Schiavo, these, plus other notions of common decency have been twisted by the courts and by others who seek her death as somehow beneficial to her. A wise sister of mine asks; If she is truly in a vegetative state as Michael Schiavo, et.al. contend, why must she be relieved of the 'suffering' which, by their definition, she can not feel?
The answer is, because her continued existence is inconvenient to her legal guardian who also purports to being her husband. She was once very important to Schiavo, when he was exploiting her condition to the tune of a $1.3 million dollar malpractice settlement in 1992. At that time, Schiavo testified, "I believe in the vows I took with my wife, through sickness, in health, for richer for poorer." Well, he's been through the health, but the sickness that enabled him to get richer, if not terminated, will someday reduce him to the ranks of the poorer. And that is one reason why Terri must die.
Another is that maybe, if allowed to live out the life God gave her, she might one day regain her ability to speak, and that might cause a wee bit of trouble for the vow-believing Mr. Schiavo. On the night of her collapse in 1990, although he knew CPR, Schiavo did not perform it on his wife, who then became oxygen-deprived for five to ten minutes.
But what caused the collapse? Doctors who treated her at the Northside Humana ER and performed her toxicology screen ruled out heart attack or drugs and theorized that it may have been caused by low blood potassium. When she was admitted, it was noted on her paperwork that she had a "rigid neck," which is sometimes indicative of strangulation. Why this information was not investigated or even given to her family at the time is another part of the mystery surrounding the cause of her condition. As is a recently released bone scan done in 1991, which details multiple traumas to her limbs, spine and torso including a broken femur and back. The radiologist who performed the scan noted, "This patient has a history of trauma."
Usually, in legal proceedings, unanswered questions like these are up to the State to answer before a death penalty can be imposed, but in Terri's case, the manner in which her appeals have been handled raises even more questions. Why are the conflict of interest issues involving Schiavo mouthpiece George Felos, Circuit Judge George Greer and the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast where Terri awaits her fate, not under tighter scrutiny? Why was Terri admitted to a hospice, where the admitting physician must certify that death is imminent within six months, when no such diagnosis has ever been made? Why was Terri's feeding tube ordered removed without an "end of life directive" by Terri which is mandated by Florida law?
No moral tragedy would be complete without irony and this is the most bitter; that Michael Schiavo is using the money earmarked for Terri's care to kill her. Another is that he would have been $800,000 dollars poorer had he remembered Terri's "wish" to die with dignity at the time of the malpractice suit instead of six years later when he and the state of Florida began their crusade to execute Terri.
If you can stand the heartbreak, go to the website maintained by her parents and look into the eyes of a vibrant, living human being as she interacts with those who love and only want to take her home and care for her. Then contemplate the slow, agonizing death her husband and the state of Florida have planned for her.
On Florida's death row, prisoners are allowed (among other things) medical and dental care, visitors and access to the clergymen of their choice. As Terri awaits her fate in her hospice cell consider: She has not had her teeth cleaned or a PAP smear in over seven years, nor has she ever had a mammogram. Her husband will not allow therapy of any kind and even ordered medication withheld when she developed serious infections. She is not allowed any visitors unless approved by Schiavo. Her parish priest was not allowed to give her a tiny sliver of the Host while administering Last Rites when her feeding tube was pulled on October 15, as this would have constituted 'sustenance', and he has since been barred from visiting her.
Terri Schindler-Schiavo, through the grace of God, did not die when her executioners ordered her feeding stopped twice. And the courageous act of the Florida legislature and stay of execution by Governor Bush may yet save her life, and we should all say a prayer that that happens. For who might be next? Alzheimer's patients, autistic or special needs children? The 'Greatest Generation' fought a war to defeat a man who had a plan to make the disabled disposable. Can we do any less than fight for the sanctity of all life?
To comment on this article or express your opinion directly to the author, you are invited to e-mail Lisa at FabLi@aol.com .
Doesn't this statement by Schiavo's lawyer directly contradict everything Schiavo and his new lawyer are saying today?
I AM RESPONDING: "BINGO!!! Even a murderer doesn't get convicted and the death penalty based on HEARSAY!!!
Terri has been dehumanized, reduced to a thing over which her husband, his henchghoul lawyer, and the imperious Florida court system wrangle as they seek to dispose of her in order to improve the 'quality of other's lives' ... and if the people of Florida allow this to end with Terri's dehydration execution, they will reap what they have allowed their courts to sow, but when it hits them personally, they will find they are too late to alter the course chosen by the imperious courts and judges.
Personally, I wouldn't set foot in the state of Flordia on a bet! I'm doing everything I can to prevent anyone in my family from going there, also. Too damn dangerous.
Most excellent point!
And it is the government, of by and FOR the people who through elected representatives and a good govenor stepped in to STOP THIS DEATH BY JUDICIAL PROCLAMATION!
Are there any Florida lawyers familiar with guardianship issues out there?
Hey, wise sister.
Thanks God our elected officials in the Florida House of Reps and the good Govenor down there 'CHANGED THE LAW!!!
Just what judges facing disgruntled plaintiffs or defendants say so often..."You don't like the law, so change it!"
They did. Florida points out the CRUCIAL importance of judges....the dems know this...and they fight dirty to keep good constitutional JUDGES off the bench.
We can all help here by calling our reps in DC and DEMANDING they stand up and push without relenting for the judicial nominations of our President! We must act. Now. It is up to US to stop this madness of court ordered DEATH. Especially considering the evidence Judge Greer DISALLOWED in determining that Terri certainly needed to be starved and denied water.
Still looking for Judge Greer's email address....I have a LOT to get off my chest. And want Circuit Judge Demer's address too, the man charged with determining Terri's guardian.
We have to help prevent a MONSTER from hovering over Terri....doing the work of those two vampires-MS and girly death man Felos.