Friday, May 06, 2005

Protesters Demonstrate Outside Event Honoring Schiavo Judge

RN Ford Comments: Greer's jokes about not letting his "friends" in who stood protest against him outside the country club gates as he digested a meal at his banquet and received an award for signing the execution via dehydration and starvation of a disabled woman, should not be taken lightly. We need to remove this judge from the bench to show America we will not tolerate the killing of disabled people in this country. To add as a reminder, over 700,000 people each year have strokes. How many may need a tube feeding in the course of their healing? Think about this before we decide to allow judges like Greer to smile and accept awards for killing people.

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Protesters Demonstrate Outside Event Honoring Schiavo Judge

By LISA A. DAVIS and GEOFF FOX The Tampa Tribune
Published: May 6, 2005

NEW PORT RICHEY - Some of the same protesters who stood vigil outside a Pinellas Park hospice as Terri Schiavo slipped away moved north Thursday, trying to keep her memory - and their mission - alive.
As they displayed signs outside the security gate of Heritage Springs Golf and Country Club, they wanted Pinellas- Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer to hear them loud and clear: ``Jesus Would Feed Terri,'' one sign read.

Schiavo, 41, died March 31 - 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by a court order signed by Greer.

At a banquet Thursday night at the club in Trinity, members of the West Pasco Bar Association honored Greer's career - in part for his handling of the emotionally and politically charged Schiavo case - with the Special Justice Award.

``What Judge Greer did, and what judges in general do, is they look to the law, they look for guidance in the law, and they come up with the best answers they can within the law,'' 2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Morris Silberman said before Greer received the award.

As Greer and banquet attendees approached Heritage Springs, they passed the 15 protesters and their signs with slogans such as ``You Are Awarding A Murderer'' and ``Wanted: Honest Men for Black Robe Jobs.''

One girl held a sign that read: ``Judge Greer Should Say Sorry to God.''

Mary Kimball, of Tampa, held signs with her husband and seven of her children, ages 12 years to 18 months.

``The injustice goes on,'' Kimball said. ``They're spitting on Terri's grave. That's what this is.''

``They're putting a big toad on her grave,'' added Kimball's daughter, Rosie, 10.

Upon accepting his award, Greer received a standing ovation.

``This award I will treasure,'' he said, holding up the engraved clock. ``I will display this clock very prominently in my chambers.''

He told the crowd he was aware of the protesters outside.

``These past several years have been a bit trying,'' he said. ``You see my friends out there at the gate. I thank you for not inviting them in.''

For years, Greer presided over the right-to-life versus right-to-die battle between Schiavo's husband, Michael, and her parents. Michael Schiavo said his wife did not want to live by artificial means, and her parents said she could communicate and would not want to die.

Doctors had said Terri Schiavo had been in a persistent vegetative state since suffering brain damage after her heart stopped in 1990. Florida's governor and Legislature, then Congress, took up the battle, but appeals courts upheld Greer's decisions.


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