by Steven Ertelt
February 1, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Responding to an editorial appearing in the Miami Sun-Sentinel newspaper, Ken Conner, the lead attorney for Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the Terri Schiavo battle, says the disabled woman is being treated by the courts worse than a convicted felon.
The Miami newspaper issued a January 27 editorial applauding the Supreme Court for not hearing a Bush appeal of a Florida court’s decision overturning the law that allowed him to prevent her starvation death.
The Miami newspaper took issue with a quote from Conner: "The reality is that in Florida convicted felons receive more due-process protections than Terri Schiavo has received in this case."
Conner said his initial statement "may be a sad reflection on the state of jurisprudence in Florida," but "it is most assuredly true."
"Accused capital felons in Florida are entitled to independent counsel; competent representation; a jury trial; and upon conviction, an automatic review of their death penalty by the Florida Supreme Court," Conner explained.
"Terri Schiavo has never received any of these protections," Conner said.
Conner, the former president of the Family Research Council, decried the fact that she did not even have a guardian ad litem when the decision was made to allow her estranged husband Michael the ability to remove her feeding tube and end her life.
"Like it or not, convicted murderers Ted Bundy and Danny Rolling received more due-process protections than Terri Schiavo, a person utterly innocent of any wrong-doing," Conner said.
Had those two felons been sentenced to the death penalty via starvation and dehydration, the sentence would have undoubtedly been appealed as a violation of prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment, Conner contends.
"Terri Schiavo is, admittedly, profoundly handicapped," Conner concludes. "However, she is still a person entitled to be treated with human dignity and worthy of the full protection of the law."