Skip to comments.Judge orders death without trial by jury!
Posted on 10/18/2003 4:47:14 PM PDT by JOHN W K
American Constitutional Research Service
Florida Judge, George Greer, orders Terri Schiavo to die without trial by jury!
For background see Terri Schiavo wants to live
It is a fundamental and constitutional right to have a trial by jury, the opportunity to defend ones self and confront ones accusers, before being sentenced to death.
It is also a fundamental right to have an attorney at that trial, to be an advocate and speak for those accused, and then, it is up to a jury to make a decision based upon the evidence presented.
The judge in Terri's case has bypassed a fundamental right [trial by jury] and has arbitrarily made a decision which a jury, and only a jury ought to make, especially when the life of the accused hangs in the balance.
To the best of my knowledge the judge has not even made any attempt to personally try to communicate with Terri, the one he has order to be left to starve to death.
Maybe, just maybe Terri is capable of communicating but in an unusual way. The film I saw on TV indicates she is responsive and aware of her surroundings and this is what a jury ought to determine, and not a judge before sentencing her to death.
The judge has issued an arbitrary decision based upon hearsay and opinions of others without the accused having a chance to defend herself as commanded by the guarantee to a trial by jury, and in my eyes he is guilty of assisted homicide and Sec. 242 - Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whatever happened to the right to a trial by jury in which the accused, either by him/her self or their attorney, is at the very least given the opportunity to defend ones self?
Once again, let me say, it is a fundamental and constitutional right to have the opportunity to defend ones self and confront ones accusers . The judge has denied Terri this fundamental right based upon hearsay and the unconfirmed opinions of others as to what Terri wants! If this is allowed to happen in Terris situation, why have the constitutional guarantee to a trial by jury to defend one's self in the constitution if those rights can be abrogated by the testimony of others who assert you are incapable of defending yourself? Should you not be at least given the opportunity to defend yourself by the guarantees provided in our system?
Daniel Webster, in the Dartmouth College Case, stated: "By the law of the land is most clearly intended the general law; a law which hears before it condemns; which proceeds upon inquiry, and renders judgment only after trial. The meaning is that every citizen shall hold his life, liberty, property, and immunities, under the protection of the general rules which govern society. Everything which may pass under the form of an enactment is not therefore to be considered the law of the land. - It is thus entirely correct in assuming that a legislative enactment is not necessarily the law of the land." - Judge Thomas M. Cooley, A Treatise on Constitutional Limitations, 5th Ed. Little, Brown & Co.: Boston, 1883, Sec.353-54, p.432.
"Due Process of law implies the right of the person affected thereby to be present before the tribunal which pronounces judgment upon the question of life, liberty, or property, in its most comprehensive sense; to be heard, by testimony or otherwise, and to have the right of controverting, by proof, every material fact which bears on the question of right in the matter involved. If any question of fact or liability be conclusively presumed against him, this is not due process of law." Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, page 500.
American Constitutional Research Service
Is there anything we can learn from this?
When they came for the Catholics?
When they came for the Baptists?
When they came for the fundamentalists?
When they came for the agnostics?
When they came for the physically disabled?
When they came for the mentally disabled?
Just something for all of us to think about -- is this picture larger than we currently see it?
I would think there are MANY ways that Jeb could intervene, if only to order the tube back in while he does a investigation.!!
Gov. Bush could stop it because there's conflict of interest by the husband. There's evidence of foul play. Her medical records show gross abuse leading to her condition. Broken bones and such.
Bush just doesn't want to get his hands dirty. Ordering an investigation could stop it. He has the power to do it.
He's willing to let her starve rather than make political waves. I don't think people will forgive him for it.
I suppose a pro-life Republican will rise to run against him next election cycle.
Why not let her live at least as long as there are people who care for her, and attempt rehabilitation at least to the extent provided for in her trust fund (noting that it may be necessary to sue Felos to get a fair amount of that money back)?
If Terri had prepared a written and notarized statement of her wishes to be kept alive and given it to her parents (not her husband!), but Schiavo said she told him she'd changed her mind, do you not think Judge Greer would still have found Schiavo's statement (perhaps corroborated by his siblings) to be "clear and compelling" evidence that Terri wanted to die?
SECTION 2. Basic rights.--All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.
SECTION 9. Due process.--No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, or be compelled in any criminal matter to be a witness against oneself.
And what due process is provided for?
SECTION 22. Trial by jury.--The right of trial by jury shall be secure to all and remain inviolate. The qualifications and the number of jurors, not fewer than six, shall be fixed by law.
Where does a judge get the nerve to determine that Terri ought to be put to death...what has happened to the protection found in having a jury make that determination?
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