Straight Up with Sherri

Monday, February 28, 2005

Follow Up on Gordon Watts Filing

Florida Supreme Court splits 4-3 on surprise last-minute filing in Terri Schiavo Case

While many parties have become involved in the Terri Schiavo case, there has been much activity under the radar, not reported by the mainstream press.

LAKELAND, FL (PRWEB) Friday, 25 February 2005 - Terri Schiavo supporters have been bolstered by a surprise, last-minute filing from an unexpected source. Lakeland, Florida resident, Gordon Watts, who filed a petition for writ of Habeas Corpus with Florida’s high court on behalf of Schiavo in late November of 2003, shortly after Schiavo’s feeding tube was removed and re-inserted, has struggled against powerful interests who have attempted to discredit and dismiss his involvement in this high-profile case. Watts also has experience in the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to hear his racial profiling case today, and can be found at the court’s official website: regarding a situation in which he was asked to leave an establishment based allegedly on his minority ethnic background.In spite of much opposition and ridicule from mainstream media and other parties, however, Watts’ case has remained alive in Florida’s Supreme Court for over a year until this past Wednesday.

Watts, who learned of the Schiavo case in 2003 from news reports, immediately moved to file as “next friend” to challenge Schiavo’s alleged illegal detention in hospices, which, according to State Law, are only allowed to admit terminal patients, which are expected to die within six or fewer months. Watts’ filings bear many similarities to filings made by the immediate family, but have additional elements, such as the direct challenge to the placement of Schiavo in a hospice facility and the use of the writ of habeas corpus. Watts has said that the immediate family would be more appropriate to file, but seeing no one else make these legal arguments, petitioned the court, noting that he need not be “closest friend” to satisfy legal Due Process requirements for the handicapped woman,
who has been denied legal representation for much of her ordeal.

Mr. Watts also took issue with the fact that court orders only spoke to the feeding tube, but that parties removed both the feeding tube and also denied natural food, the latter a felony under chapter 825 state laws......

Gordon Watts


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