Legal Options

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By now, I am sure you have heard about the decision by the three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

There are two options for the Schindler (search) parents: Either ask that the entire Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit consider their matter or go straight to the United States Supreme Court (search). Usually when the three-judge panel in the Court of Appeals splits two-one — as it did here — the litigant first asks the entire court to hear the matter. The number of the entire panel varies — could be 12 judges depending on the Circuit. But, because time is of the essence, the Schindlers may skip the step of asking the full Court of Appeals to reconsider the case and go straight to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not have to hear the case — it has the option of rejecting it for consideration, or hearing it (and ruling for/against the Schindlers.) Of course if the Supreme Court does elect to hear it, the Court will have to do so urgently or issue an order to re-insert the feeding tube pending the court's decision.

Here are e-mails randomly grabbed and posted:

E-mail No. 1 — this e-mail is about a segment we did on Monday night:

What a great story last night. The one about the soldier leaving the DVDs for his family. My friend Winnie's grandson was in Iraq for a year, came home to spend Christmas and New Years with his family before go to California for training to go to Afghanistan. During the rain storms out there last month he was killed in a car wreck return from training. You never know what my happen so you need to make your feelings known and live your life to the fullest.
Adrienne Swope
Harlingen, TX

E-mail No. 2

Mrs. Van Susteren,
Please do not search the year books to drag old classmates willing to defame a husband who has stood with firm resolve by his wife until there simply was no hope and in mercy was trying to let her go with some dignity, just so they can get their 15 minutes. No one has spoken of the efforts this man went to in the first two years of her condition to seek help for her. Please make an effort to represent Mr Schiavo's position without bias. Most of your viewing public will recognize the bias whichever way it goes.

E-mail No. 3

Please air this comment, I am Catholic but I am not a right wing nut case.
The Florida Circuit judge and now the Federal judge have taken it upon themselves to put Terry to death. Last I knew the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled that a death penalty, which this is, could only be imposed by a jury, not a judge! It seems these two judges have their "kahunas" in a knot because someone (including the U.S. Congress, the real law makers) has challenged their wisdumb (spelling no mistake) or authority. Terri's husband, (who resembles a beady-eyed lounge lizard with financial stakes and is now winning), wants her dead. Where is Terri's Guardian Ad Litem? Someone to look out for Terri?
I have much more to say but please relay this before her death.
John Richards
Bloomfield Hills, MI

E-mail No. 4

FOX News,
Tuesday night your reporter, Julie Banderas, said Terri Schiavo was "on her fifth full day" without nutrition. Wrong! First FULL day was Saturday, then Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday was day 4. Let's not sensationalize it even more than it already is....

E-mail No. 5

Dear Greta,
I love your show — watch you every night here in Florida.
Regarding the Terri Schaivo case, I am horrified at her husband. This man has $$$ reasons for wanting Terri dead. He has never produced any WRITTEN evidence that Terri's wish was to die if she found herself in such a state.
What is his RUSH at wanting her dead? Why doesn't he give Power of Attorney to her parents, and back off from this? He has a motive for wanting Terri dead.
Governments ought to be very cautious about play PILOT, after the murdering of Jesus Christ. And the irony is that this is EASTER week. This is such a tragedy. This woman should have food and water.
Thank you,
Ms. ReDale Benton-Flores

E-mail No. 6

Dear Greta:
I watch your show every night and I admire and respect your sharp, intelligent reporting over the years. Recently I have given serious thought about Terri Schiavo's "husband" ... we are told that Terri collapsed from lack of potassium which caused heart failure due to a bulimic episode. I have heard strong statements from Terri's personal, long time friends asserting that she would not have wanted to die like this. This leads me to believe that Michael Schiavo may have had something to do with her "collapse." I have also heard statements from Terri's closest friends attesting that he was very controlling of her to the extreme sometimes. Maybe the reason Michael Schiavo doesn't want Terri to recover is because he hurt her and caused her condition to happen and therefore he is fighting to shut her up. I don't believe for a second that he cares about her. If that were true then why is! He with another woman and has had two children? A person who has nothing to hide would have just divorced Terri and let her go to her family. Because of his relentless determination to end Terri's life, in my opinion, I believe this is a huge red flag that he had something to do with this happening to her.
Jill Gabel
Duke Medical Center

E-mail No. 7

It is sad that our judicial system has determined that the law is more important than life.
Keith Hensley

E-mail No. 8

I find it highly ironic that the conservative groups in this country, the same groups who decry gay marriage as it is not a “sacred bond between a man and a woman,” are failing miserably to apply this same sacred bond to Terri and Michael Schiavo. According to biblical teachings, a man and a woman leave their parents to form one family. Terri and Michael did this. Now, because Terri’s parents have no say in what is to become of the shell that was once their daughter, they are manufacturing preposterous claims that will give them some footing to prolong her suffering. I realize that Michael has not remained celibate in the nearly 15 years his wife has been in a vegetative state, but he sees the reality. His wife, the person he loves and married, should have died, did in a sense die, years ago. He is living the sacred bond. He is attempting to fulfill the wishes of his family, Terri. The hypocrisy of the situation is truly appalling to those of us who consider themselves mildly conservative. After reviewing the polls, it is comforting to know these hypocrites are the minority. Now is the time to lay down your signs, quiet your voices, and allow Terri to die with the dignity she has been denied all these years!

E-mail No. 9

Being a Catholic, I feel Terri Schiavo would be happier with god than being left in limbo to make others happy.

E-mail No. 10

To all,
Someone who has been protesting at Terri's nursing home should quickly bring a dog to the protest, stay there around the clock, and not feed, or give water to the dog. How long will it take for that person to be arrested?
Sometimes laws and judges are just wrong! When a law is wrong or a judge's decision is wrong it must be disobeyed! It's called Civil Rights!
Norman Nielsen
Henderson, NV

E-mail No. 11

Dear Greta,
Love your show. You are doing a great job on the Schiavo case. Last night you interviewed brother Scott Schiavo on your show. He mentioned how much the family is hurting over Terri and how much they love her.
Please then, let me ask a question: If the Schiavo family loves Terri so much, why was her name left out of Michael's mother obituary? In place of Terri's name was the name of Michael's live in, common law, girlfriend. This is a fact. Research it.
I would love for you to mention this on your show. Thank you.
The Schiers

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