by Steven Ertelt
June 30, 2005
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — A Quinnipiac University poll finds a majority of Florida voters do not approve of an investigation Governor Jeb Bush has asked for to find out why Terri Schiavo’s estranged husband waited over an hour before calling 911 when he found her collapsed in their home in 1990.
Some 59 percent of voters polled said they disagreed with Bush’s request of a local prosecutor to look into the problem while 30 percent said Bush was right to look into the matter to find out why Terri’s estranged husband Michael waited so long.
Republican voters disagree 48-40 percent, while Democrats disagree 64-24 percent and independent voters disagree 69-23 percent.
The poll also showed that 58 percent of voters thought Bush was motivated by politics and 32 percent though his request came from sincere conviction and concern about abuse in a case that has drawn international attention.
According to Qunnipiac, 58 percent of Florida voters support the removal of Terri’s feeding tube, which caused a painful thirteen day starvation and dehydration death. Some 32 percent of Florida voters opposed that action.
Bush requested the inquiry after a medical examiner released an autopsy report revealed Michael failed to call authorities in a timely manner.
In 1992, Michael testified that he discovered Terri collapsed on the floor of a hallway in their home at around 5:00 a.m. He did not call 911 until 5:40 a.m., records show.
Later, in a 2003 interview with CNN’s Larry King, Michael said he found Terri at 4:30 a.m., over an hour before he notified authorities.
Earlier this month, Bush asked State Attorney Bernie McCabe, the prosecutor for Pinellas and Pasco counties, to look into the 911 discrepancy.
"Between 40 and 70 minutes elapsed before the call was made, and I am aware of no explanation for the delay," Bush wrote in the letter to McCabe. "In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome."
If McCabe finds wrongdoing, Michael Schiavo could escape any criminal charges, because the statute of limitations for any crime other than murder or manslaughter has expired. Also, failing to call 911 is not a crime in Florida and Michael could only be charged with a crime if he was found to have caused Terri’s collapse.
There were no witnesses in the home and Michael claims there was no delay.
"I have consistently said over the years that I didn’t wait but ‘ran’ to call 911 after Terri collapsed," Michael said in a statement.
Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother, told LifeNews.com he doubts that and wonders why investigators didn’t look into the discrepancy back in 1990.
"Because she didn’t die, it wasn’t worth looking into," Schindler told LifeNews.com. "There were no thorough investigations at all at that time. Everyone assumed there was no foul play."
"I’d like to see Michael answer some questions about her collapse, but he never will unless there is an investigation," he said.
Related web sites:
Terri Schiavo’s parents – https://www.terrisfight.org