Straight Up with Sherri

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Former Adviser Presses Gov. Bush to Launch Criminal Investigation to Save Schiavo

Hat Tip" Keeka at Modeling101

Former Adviser Presses Gov. Bush to Launch Criminal Investigation to Save Schiavo

Although Florida governor Jeb Bush has for all intents and purposes tossed in the towel in any eleventh-hour rescue of Terri Shiavo, at least one former legal advisor is admonishing the chief executive for not using the state's criminal laws as authority to intervene – without the need for family or judicial approval – and reinsert the hospice patient's feeding tube.

Richard Thompson, the president and chief counsel of the Thomas Moore Law Center, says doing so would preserve the life of a material witness in a potential criminal case.

The launching of a formal criminal investigation into possible abuse of the helpless patient would allow the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to remove Schiavo from the custody of her current guardian – husband Michael Schiavo, who has been for years dedicated to terminating the artificial feeding of his brain-damaged wife.

Today, Thompson once more affirmed that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the legal authority to utilize state criminal laws to prevent the death of Terri Schiavo.

Legal Memos

Pointing to two legal memos prepared by the Thomas More Law Center 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.

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.

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 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 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 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.

Thompson noted that 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.

Ironically, it was authorities from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that rode to the rescue of the starving Shiavo on Oct. 21, 2003 - in the wake of the passage of the so-called "Terri's Law." At that time, she was six days into her enforced and life-threatening fast.

The extraordinary one-page bill was passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Bush in less than 24 hours, but later challenged by Schiavo's husband and held to be unconstitutional.

Judge Greer Again

Florida's Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer has ruled that under general welfare regulations the state cannot take Schiavo into custody, nor provide her food or water. However, the firm judicial ruling was specifically addressed to an effort by the state's Department of Children and Families to civilly rescue the brain-injured woman by physically removing her.

At the time of Greer's ruling there was no ongoing criminal investigation – as, indeed, there is none today.


  • PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Jennifer Johnson, barefoot and in her pajamas, ran to her grandfather's bedside once a hospice worker said his death was moments away. She got there - one minute too late. Johnson said the chaos outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo is dying kept her from saying goodbye.

    When Johnson arrived, a police officer demanded identification; she had none. And after a hospice employee cleared her, another officer halted her for a search with a metal detector.

    The delays lasted three to four minutes - the last of her grandfather's life.

    "It's a terrible, extra obstacle to put in front of a family. ... Everything is about Schiavo," Johnson said. "It's all about her and in my family's case, it cost us dearly."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:03 PM  

  • well another thankyou to go out to michael and crew
    the Schlinders certaintly did not post police officers to watch and make sure their daughter did not get any ice chips

    might i add that michael and crew get this thru taxpayers money as well as personal protection

    By Blogger keeka, at 6:09 PM  

  • The point is, whatever you believe, it's just WRONG to be making a huge scene outside a hospice. It is cruel and disrespectful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:27 PM  

  • anon why don't you let me be your guardian for when you get your chance to go out "peacefully"? I'll be more than happy to tell them what you would have wanted... how's that?

    There would be no crowd at that hospice if Terri weren't there.

    By Anonymous curmudgeon, at 6:44 PM  

  • What don't you understand? Terri is in the Hospice ILLEGALLY. She was placed in a terminal care facility when she was not terminal. Seeing the place was run by a nutjob who hears sick people screaming out "they want to die!!!", I would worry about getting the other patients OUT of there.

    By Anonymous FloridaHeat, at 6:48 PM  

  • ((everyone, even anon))))))))))
    It hurts me to see articles about all of the legal steps that Jeb can take, why? Because the guy refuses to put his neck out for Terri! As I've said before, if this were his daughter he would not think twice about going into that hospice. The guy has no convictions at all...and this is a guy who is the Gov. for a state filled to the brim with elderly! It will be open season for disabled and the elderly in Florida all because the death fanatics know Jeb won't do squat.
    Marine Momma

    By Anonymous Marine Momma, at 7:09 PM  

  • Is it all about Corruption?

    Jeb's the same religion I am and I am unable to forgive him. If the Pope wasn't so ill, I'm sure we would hear a lot more from him.

    By Anonymous Nell, at 8:49 PM  

  • Nell, it's about corruption, judicial terrorism, lack of government backbone, frauds as doctors, rights of disabled being taken away, ect.
    Marine Momma

    By Anonymous Marine Momma, at 8:57 PM  

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