Battle for Terri

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Well, we all wait and wonder what the United States Supreme Court (search) will do about Terri Schiavo (search). Most predict that the court will stay out of the Schiavo matter — they have already refused to hear the case on more than one occasion and hence one strong basis for the assumption — but it is impossible to predict for sure. Courts — and even the Supreme Court — can surprise you ... so we wait.

Wednesday night, if you are a loyal viewer, you know that we were winding down the show when the family filed in the Supreme Court. We had thought before the show that we might have to do a second live hour, but when the filing actually did come, I was surprised. I suppose I was surprised because it came just as were ending the first hour. I don't know what was going on in the New York control room as the decision was being made to do a second live hour (I was obviously on the set 200 miles away), but I suspect that there was a level of surprise there, too. There was no doubt a scramble in our control room to ask our guests to stay a second hour and the guests did. But as I was announcing on air the breaking news of the filing, I had no idea which guest we still had. As it turned out, we got "lucky" and everyone stayed and we covered the news.

I was also lucky in that our guests last night were real hands on guests — meaning that they have actually done Supreme Court work. Supreme Court work is very limited — few lawyers ever make it to the Supreme Court and there is nothing like a guest who has actually done it rather than just read about it. Of course this is true in any occupation — I always like to hear from those with real experience.

I have received many, many e-mails about Terri Schiavo and have included them below (randomly grabbed.) For those of you following the Jackson case, Laura Ingle has been inside the Jackson courtroom and sent me a long e-mail which is also posted:

E-mail No. 1

Hi Greta,
I don't believe anyone should end up like living like Terri. Next time you talk to Terri's mom/dad/brother ask them if any church can do a hands on healing from a pastor or father or priest to do hands on healing so she can get better. Since her husband wanted her dead so badly why didn't he smother her to death or gave her some kind of poison? I sure wouldn't want to live like her well in a way she's in la-la land — she doesn't know what really going on. Why don't her parents take Terri home there place and take care of there? Bye for now,

E-mail No. 2 — I had to put this next e-mail in for myself ... I have a head cold and a slight fever and did two straight hours last night, so I appreciate this e-mail and the other ones I have received:

Dear Greta,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I finally got to see a show on the Terri Schiavo case that was educational and useful. The guests you had on were wonderful. They explained what the last six days were really all about in a calm, cool, understandable way. I appreciate your decision to do this show and the other night had, after years of watching you, almost given up on you. You have restored my faith in your intellectual honesty.
C. Curtis
Pueblo, CO

E-mail No. 3

I respect your support for the life of Terri Schiavo. I realize the obstacle Terri’s family is attempting to overcome seems to be becoming increasingly hopeless. It seems to me it would have been a more feasible obstacle to distinguish the marriage between Terri and her husband. I do not know exactly how the law works, but it seems if her husband has had children with another woman (his girlfriend/fiancé) than he has clearly broken his marital vows. Therefore, although Terri cannot effectively communicate to express her desire for a divorce, as far as I am concerned their marital vows being broken speaks clearly enough. Wouldn’t it be easier for her family to fight that a divorce would be in Terri’s best interest and wishes (based solely on the mutual marital vows that were broken by her unfaithful husband). I am sure it is too late to pursuit a new route, but I brought this to my mother’s attention and she insisted I e-mail you. Throughout all of the debates/discussions we haven’t heard mention of this. Just thought I would run it by you. Keep up the good work!
Jackie Cambron

E-mail No. 4

Comments on Terri Schiavo: There is a reason why Terri Schiavo is still physically on this earth. The reason: We have no idea. Maybe because there is lesson to be taught about life and how fortunate we are day-by-day. Maybe it's because we want to see the outcome of an innocent woman with a brain damage disability in the hands of her family, her friends, her public and her government to decide the fate of her life. She was chosen to still be on this earth. But why? Who has a say in this? Is there a lesson to all of this hype?
San Diego, CA

E-mail No. 5

I'm a disabled person and I'm nervous about if I got any worse people would want to put me to death because I'm not helping society. Where do people get off thinking if they were like Terri Schiavo they wouldn't want to be like that. They don't know what its like to be like that. I'm disabled and I love every minute of my life with my family. And it bothers me that her husband is being took up for when everything I've heard is very suspicious why should he have a right at this time to unplug her when more then likely he put her there. He don't want her to get better because if she is rehabilitated she might say something about him and he don't want to go to jail so he is saying she wanted this. That's why he turned all that money down. I don't know but it worries me that society thinks disabled people don't have a happy life.

E-mail No. 6

You seemed to ignore completely the implication of a statement be your reporter guest that Michael Schiavo did not want an Terri's infection treated. Later, you told Terri's brother that you represented both sides of an alleged dispute in the same segment. The fact is that the reporter had the Schindler side of the argument completely wrong. She did not mention the issue as a dispute over therapy. Very sloppy on your part and hers.
John Ryan
Queens, NY

E-mail No. 7

I think that this case is making a circus out of our system. We have the whole government fighting for a little of the afterglow of life. The president, Governor Bush, and most, not all but most, other politicians don't care about this woman. This is not about which side of the isle that you sit on. It does not matter if you are Democrats, or Republicans. So why is it that both parties keep trying slide guilt to the other. If they truly cared, then this case especially would not draw political divided attention. But it does. I applaud the justice system for doing their jobs, no matter how unpopular the decision.

E-mail No. 8

This may sound stupid, but, has Michael Schiavo ever taken a polygraph exam concerning his assertion that Terri told him her wish to not live under her present circumstances? If not, why not?
Don Martin
Palmetto, FL

E-mail No. 9

Although I trust my own spouse to make life or death decisions for me, I would not want an estranged spouse to make that decision for me, as is the case in the Terri Schaivo matter. A man living with another
woman and their children has an interest is her death. The potential for conflict of interest, I think, should be obvious. My suggestion to Gov. Bush and the Florida legislature is to enact legislation giving this type of guardianship to biological relatives over estranged spouses.
Dallas, TX

E-mail No. 10 — this e-mail falls under the headline, "huh?"

Ms. Van Susteren,
I sincerely apologize for anything I may have said in any previous e-mails that you may have taken personally or as an insult. However, I do not apologize for any content in any of the e-mails because what I wrote was the truth as I see it and I will not apologize to you or anyone else for the truth.
Cleveland Gamage,
Sacramento, CA

E-mail No. 11

Dear Greta,
Your show is a very good show and you are number one, but some of the guests you have on say things that are not true. Your guests need to speak for themselves only! I sit here right in my own home. I write to you all the time, sharing my pain. There are some of use who do not believe in murder. This is nothing short of murder. Whoever kills her will answer to God. Life is up to God, not man. So your guests need to stop telling us over the air what we believe. We live each and every day for God. We live in the world but not of the world. To Terri's family: Let go and let God. God has an all seeing eye and nothing will be forgotten.
Chickasha, OK

E-mail note from Laura Ingle inside the Michael Jackson (search) courtroom:

To porn or not to porn ... that has been the question for the morning session of the Jackson trial. Prosecutors were set to put on a witness who was going to testify about the porn sites cops found on Jackson's three computers at his Neverland Ranch. Judge Rodney Melville listened to arguments for and against the subject matter. Prosecutors want the jurors to hear that there were sites like and teensteam on his computers, to show Jackson had an arsenal of seduction materials for his young and allegedly tipsy little guests.
Deputies who "wand" reporters on their way in and out of court at the security check point frisked my ankles today ... never had that happen before. Is there a new security concern I wonder?
M.J. is looking back to his old self more and more everyday. He's still moving slow, but didn't need assistance holding on to people in his posse going in and out of court as he had been. He chomped away on a piece of gum during the testimony of a sheriff detective who had taken part of the search warrant raid of his Neverland Ranch, Nov. 18, 2003. As prosecutor Tom Sneddon looked through notes and evidence bags, the sound of crinkling plastic pierced the otherwise quiet courtroom. Lots and lots of bags brought to the witness stand. We are all trying to see what's in those large bags with binders and books. Everyone knows it will be porn.
There is a special guest sitting in the front right row of the courtroom — the "friend of the court" section. Judge Dennis Levy from the "Queen's Bench" is visiting from England. A request for his seat was made through diplomatic channels ... he is just feet away from Jackson, watching with great interest.
And finally, the “new guy” hanging out with Jackson's parents is reportedly an illusionist! A magician who is friends with Jackson. I've heard his name is "Majestic Magnificent." No word on if he'll make all of this disappear for the "King of Pop."

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