Monday, October 27, 2003

Judge Consistently Rules in Husband's Favor:
But He's Really A Nice Guy

So says an article on the AP wire that was published in many newspapers yesterday. According to the article, the judge (Pinellas County Circuit Court Judge George Greer) is a "prudent jurist who probably agonized over his decisions."

Hmm, I wonder? Did he "agonize" over his decision when the Schindlers asked for an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Terri's injury, citing medical evidence that Michael Schiavo (Terri's husband) may have caused it? He dismissed the Schindlers request, saying that "it would be interesting to know what happened, but it's not relevant to this case."

How are the circumstances of Terri's injury "not relevant" to the question of Michael's fitness as guardian?

Was it "prudent" of Judge Greer, for all intents and purposes, to ignore the 13 doctors (several of whom specialize in treating brain-unjured patients) who have testified on behalf of the Schindlers? They testified that Terri is NOT in a persistent vegetative state, and could be at least partially rehabilitated. But Judge Greer ignored them, and backed Michael up in his refusal to allow any attempts at therapy.

The article also states that Judge Greer ruled in favor of Terri's death because "Michael Schiavo showed `clear and convincing` evidence his wife did not want to be kept alive artificially..."

I'm sure it was very "prudent"of the judge to accept that "clear and convincing" evidence: that evidence consisted of little more than Michael's assertions. And it's at least curious that Michael gave no indication of any desire of Terri's not to be kept alive until after the Schindlers began questioning and contesting Michael's decisions as guardian.

So, Judge Greer is "conscientious." He may very well be. But given the summary way in which he has dismissed the substantive objections and evidence raised by the Schindlers, I find it hard to accept that description of Greer. And even if he is, being conscientious doesn't mean he's right.

This is the sort of "puff piece" we can expect to see more and more of as the pro-death movement ramps up to turn public opinion back toward Michael and his lawyers. As I mentioned in my previous post, the effort to polish Michael's image is already under way. This effort will extend to Michael's attorney, and here, to Judge Greer as well. In order to make the effort to end Terri's life acceptable, those seeking it are going to be portrayed as "nice guys" and even noble crusaders.

The pro-death advocates were dealt a unexpected blow by last week's passage of "Terri's Law." They're going to hit back, as hard as they can with whatever they can. George Felos, Michael's attorney, wil file briefs today seeking to overturn Terri's Law as unconstitutional. I'd be willing to bet that he wins this round, as he'll be appearing before one of Judge Greer's colleagues in the same Circuit.

This isn't over by a long shot.