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SCHIAVO CASE DISPLAYED FAULTS IN JUDICIAL SYSTEM

Does the Terri Schiavo case really show the strength of our judicial system? Terri suffered neglect for 12 years under guardianship of Michael Schiavo, according to legal documentation.

In 1993, shortly after the couple was awarded $1 million in a malpractice suit settlement, Schiavo prohibited all medical care, rehabilitation and therapy. Notably, with no objection from the court, Schiavo used money specifically awarded for Terri's health care for legal expenses in a battle to end his wife's life. The court heard testimony that Schiavo often seemed thrilled about Terri's medical complications.

The voluminous information of neglect is heart wrenching. Yet the presiding judge overlooked the clear conflict of interest for Schiavo to maintain guardianship. Terri had no voice in the legal system to represent her best interests. Her life was in the hands of her self-serving husband and his legal representation. These circumstances clearly violate the 14th Amendment right of "due process" for a fair and impartial trial. I believe in the strength of our judicial system, but doubt that this case or the presiding judge demonstrated the justice that our founding fathers intended.

Jean Orsini-Clabeaux

Grand Island