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May 20, 2005

Judicial conflicts of interest in Terri Schiavo case

The Empire Journal is reporting on several very suspicious conflicts of interest in the case of Terri Schiavo, who was murdered by the state of Florida earlier this year. When Congress passed special legislation allowing Federal courts to do a complete review of the facts of Florida's ongoing execution of Terri Schiavo, U.S. District Court Judge James Whittemore ignored the legislation, and dismissed the case, even denying the Schindlers' request for a stay, to keep Terri alive during appeals.

However, they would have more of a likelihood of success had Whittemore disclosed his overwhelming conflict of interest in the matter that ethically prohibited him from sitting on the case...

Whittemore failed to disclose that one of the attorneys who had formerly represented Michael Schiavo had been a member of the judicial nominating commission which had recommended him for his judicial position on the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of Hillsborough County where he served until he was nominated by President Clinton for the Middle District of Florida in 1999 and confirmed....

Although obviously aware that George Felos and his ex-wife, the former Constance McCaughey, were the attorneys for Michael Schiavo, the man intent on the court-sanctioned homicide of his wife and ward, Whittemore failed to disclose his fatal conflict which ethically precluded him from being the judge which sounded Terri Schiavo’s death knell.

Whittemore, as well as Schiavo’s attorney, George Felos, failed to disclose that Constance McCaughey had been a member of the 13th Cirucit Judicial Nominating Commission which had recommended his judicial appointment as circuit court judge, the springboard for Whittemore’s federal judgeship.

Also hiding conflict of interest is Sixth Circuit Court Judge Mark Shames  who is the judge that allow Michael Schiavo to use the money awarded for Terri's health care, to hire attorneys in his efforts to murder her.

Shames was also conflicted in the case as the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct dictates that a judge is mandated to disqualify himself in a proceeding in which he has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding and if the judge has served as a lawyer (or been consulted) in the matter in controversy.

After the Schindlers discussed their potential case at length with Shames and wanted to hire him to represent them to remove the guardianship of their daughter from Michael Schiavo, Shames announced his candidacy for Sixth Circuit Court judge. Upon being elected, Shames was assigned the guardianship case of Schindler v. Schiavo and Shames failed to disqualify himself as required.

The mess is unraveling. We need to keep on finding the corruption behind these people who would torture to death an innocent woman. Kudos to the Empire Journal for all the hard work they're doing as well as their sister site the North Country Gazette.

Posted by Danny Carlton at May 20, 2005 08:21 AM

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