Friday, March 25, 2005

Andrew McCarthy - Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

In this article, Andrew McCarthy writes the following:

If I am right, if reasonable doubt is the minimum constitutional requirement, then the court should proceed to a full-blown hearing at which the evidence of Terri's supposed PVS and desire to die are weighed anew — de novo — on the more demanding evidentiary standard. Perhaps then we would learn why basic, easy-to-do scientific tests to measure brain damage were not done in Terri's case; whether the clinical observation on which the Florida court relied (essentially, a 45-minute examination by a neurologist who is a right-to-die zealot) was adequate for a death case; and whether Michael Schiavo was credible when he suddenly remembered, seven years after the fact, that Terri happened to mention that she wanted to die if she were ever in a PVS.

He argues the minimum standard in a course like Terri's is that it is necessary for proof beyond a reasonable doubt (can I say, duh!, but it seems a point that needs to be repeated, as so many of the justices that have considered the case have forgotten it). I mean, this is a life and death can the courts possibly say they are right to have ingnored the mountain of evidence that suggests Terri would not have wanted this, and that Michael Schiavo has possible motives that were inconsistent with his role as Terri's guardian?? Despair does not even begin to cover what I feel about justice here in the States just now...


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