Maine Right to Life Disappointed with Maine Lawmakers and Judicial Abuse

I would imagine many people agree with Maine Right to Life's sentiments...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Roche, 207-622-3837
Date: March 22, 2005

Maine Right to Life Disappointed with Maine Lawmakers and Judicial Abuse

Judge James D. Whittemore has ruled, that Terri Schindler-Schiavo may not receive the federal court hearing mandated by Congressional passage of the federal "Terri's Law". Claiming that she has no "probability of success on the merits," Whittemore denied any stay of the state court's starvation/dehydration order during further proceedings in federal court. The denial of stay must immediately be appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Judge Whittemore has engaged in a gross abuse of judicial power," said Burke J. Balch, J.D., director of the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics of the National Right to Life Committee. "Giving not even the slightest deference to an Act of Congress, without even allowing time for meaningful legal argument or consideration of evidence, Whittemore has ruled that Terri Schiavo's death sentence must be carried out.

The Maine Right to Life Committee is disappointed to say the least, that Maine’s lawmakers, Senator Collins, Senator Snowe, and Congressman Allen did not vote in favor of Terri’s law, which passed both houses of congress and was signed by the President on Monday. “Maine’s legislators continue to err on the side of death,” said Lisa Roche, Executive Director of MRLC. “Terri has been denied food and water for almost four days and has never had an attorney represent her constitutional right to life nor her freedom of religion claims. Yet Maine’s lawmakers refuse to give Terri’s death sentence the review of a federal court as is always given to death row inmates after they have exhausted their state court appellate process.”

Roche states that Maine’s lawmakers have once again refused to go the extra mile in order to protect life; they refuse to give Terri, who is innocent, the protection that death row inmates receive automatically.

The Maine Right to Life Committee (MRLC) is the largest pro-life organization, in Maine, and an affiliate of National Right to Life. MRLC works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.