Media Bias: If Only My Sister Terri Schiavo Was a Convicted Murderer

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 29, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Media Bias: If Only My Sister Terri Schiavo Was a Convicted Murderer Email this article
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by Bobby Schindler
January 29, 2007 Note: Bobby Schindler is the brother of Terri Schiavo and works with the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation to help disabled and incapacitated patients.

As the mainstream media editorialize outgoing Florida Governor Jeb Bush, I can’t help but compare their opposition to the 34-minute execution of convicted killer Angel Diaz with their support of the 14-day execution of my sister, Terri Schiavo….

Orlando Sentinel, 12-28-06

[Governor Jeb Bush’s] intervention in the Terri Schiavo fiasco, without even talking to her husband, was unconscionable., 12-19-06

Governor Jeb Bush was wise to suspend executions and order the review of lethal injection procedures after the bungled execution of a convicted murderer last week.

Miami Herald, 1-8-07

It will be difficult for the public to forget [Bush’s] disgraceful performance in the Terri Schiavo case, just one of a number of legal battles in which the ACLU engaged his administration because of his posture that public policy "should err on the side of life.”, 12-20-06

Governor Jeb Bush was correct to impose a hold on death warrants in Florida following the gruesome execution of Angel Diaz…..

Convicted murderer Diaz was put to death by lethal injection, taking 34 minutes to die…. That likely violates the constitutional mandate against cruel and unusual punishment….

An American Bar Association study… cited more than a dozen glaring flaws [with Florida’s death penalty process]. Among them…unjustly imposes the death penalty on persons with severe mental disabilities.

Florida unjustly imposes the death penalty on persons with severe mental disabilities.

Orlando Sentinel, 12-31-06

… Mr. Bush… insisted on intervening in the case of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo.

The Ledger (Associated Press), 12-17-06

Article title: "Doctors: Botched execution likely slow, painful"

Death penalty foes have for years warned of a worst-case scenario in which an inmate being executed by lethal injection could remain conscious, experiencing severe pain as he slowly dies. That day may finally have come.

"It really sounds like [Angel Diaz] was tortured to death," said Jonathan Groner, associate professor of surgery at the Ohio State Medical School…. "My impression is that it would cause an extreme amount of pain."…

[W]itnesses reported movement of Diaz as long as 24 minutes after the first injection, with him grimacing, blinking, licking his lips, blowing and attempting to mouth words. At one point, about midway through the process, he turned his head toward witnesses….

Tampa Tribune, 1-31-07

Family members – and later state lawmakers, with Bush’s support – tried to force [Terri’s] sustenance. Courts stopped the Legislature, and later Bush, from ordering a feeding tube reinserted….. Despite overwhelming public distaste over the government’s intervention – by a 2-1 ratio in one poll – Bush remains unrepentant.

I don’t believe in the deliberate killing of any human being.

But if the press is so worried about cruel and unusual punishment of convicted murderers by lethal injection, perhaps they would consider it better to starve and dehydrate them to death.

Because as the press constantly reminded us, death by dehydration and starvation of innocent disabled people who have committed no crime is a “peaceful and painless” way to die.