Thursday, April 28, 2005

Video Tributes to JPII

Tributes to JPII

If anyone knows of others, and sends them to me, I will add them.

This is "Higher Education" ?

A friend recently emailed me an article by one Milton Scarborough entitled
"A time for quiet reflection on Schiavo case" (sic) that was published on April 21, 2005 in the Advocate Messenger. I did not know this author, and asked others about him.

I learned that this man is a professor of philosophy and religion at Centre College in Kentucky. When I read his article, I would never have believed that he teaches college level, until I realized some of the 'odd thinking' that I hear coming from many of our higher educational institutions.

He uses different forms of 'reductionism' (which he admits that Catholics AND Protestants have rejected), in order to show that Terri Schiavo was no longer 'human' when she died, as her soul was reduced to a vegetative soul, and he bases his reasoning on St Thomas Aquinas' writings on the soul. St Thomas Aquinas describes the life force of vegetables, animals and humans differently. The problem with Mr Scarborough's reasoning is that the human soul is created uniquely and individually, and cannot be reduced.

The value of each person is simply in the existence of that person, whose soul reflects God. It cannot become the soul of a vegetable simply because of brain damage, nor even the soul of an animal.

Using his reasoning, any child born with brain damage is in danger! Any elderly person (and some are diagnosed with Alzheimer's even in late forties/fifties!) with any form of Dementia is in extreme danger, because they cannot express themselves as the disease progresses. Those diagnosed with degenerative diseases can be murdered (oh, excuse me, allowed to die 'peacefully') with no recrimination, as they become less than human as the disease progresses.

Perhaps this is the kind of reasoning that Peter Singer uses to say that a baby should not be considered a human until after birth, when you can know it is 'normal'....a diagnosis of spina bifida, or Down's Syndrome, etc would therefore make that child 'not human'.... scary.

A human being is a human being from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, regardless of the intelligent quotient or physical normality/disability that human being may possess, and can NEVER become less than a human being, even if birth defect, llness or injury makes them less able than others, or than they themselves once were.

A human soul can never be reduced to that of a vegetative soul, or to that of an animal's soul.

This article reflects the kind of thinking that will say any cognitively disabled person is not a human being, solely because they may not be able to express themselves 'normally'. Each human being deserves to be treated as worthy simply because they exist, not for what they can achieve or 'potentially become'.

See, we have already HAD action based on this kind of thinking once before in the fairly recent past, running under the name T4 Program in Germany where those deemed to be non-productive eaters whose lives offered 'no value' (ie, mentally ill, elderly and developmentally/cognitively disabled) could be extinguished. Those human beings labeled in this way were 'reduced' by society to not being human, and they were killed legally.

Helen Keller would not have survived this man's reasoning before Annie Sullivan came into her life.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder by Nat Hentoff

Terri Schiavo: Judicial Murder

Her crime was being disabled, voiceless, and at the disposal of our media
by Nat Hentoff March 29th, 2005 10:59 AM

For all the world to see, a 41-year-old woman, who has committed no crime, will die of dehydration and starvation in the longest public execution in American history.

She is not brain-dead or comatose, and breathes naturally on her own. Although brain-damaged, she is not in a persistent vegetative state, according to an increasing number of radiologists and neurologists.

Among many other violations of her due process rights, Terri Schiavo has never been allowed by the primary judge in her case, Florida Circuit Judge George Greer, whose conclusions have been robotically upheld by all the courts above him, to have her own lawyer represent her.

Greer has declared Terri Schiavo to be in a persistent vegetative state, but he has never gone to see her. His eyesight is very poor, but surely he could have visited her along with another member of his staff. Unlike people in a persistent vegetative state, Terri Schiavo is indeed responsive beyond mere reflexes.

While lawyers and judges have engaged in a minuet of death, the American Civil Liberties Union, which would be passionately criticizing state court decisions and demanding due process if Terri were a convict on death row, has shamefully served as co-counsel for her husband, Michael Schiavo, in his insistent desire to have her die.

Months ago, in discussing this case with ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, and later reading ACLU statements, I saw no sign that this bastion of the Bill of Rights has ever examined the facts concerning the egregious conflicts of interest of her husband and guardian Michael Schiavo, who has been living with another woman for years, with whom he has two children, and has violated a long list of his legal responsibilities as her guardian, some of them directly preventing her chances for improvement. Judge Greer has ignored all of them.

In February, Florida's Department of Children and Families presented Judge Greer with a 34-page document listing charges of neglect, abuse, and exploitation of Terri by her husband, with a request for 60 days to fully investigate the charges. Judge Greer, soon to remove Terri's feeding tube for the third time, rejected the 60-day extension. (The media have ignored these charges, and much of what follows in this article.)

Michael Schiavo, who says he loves and continues to be devoted to Terri, has provided no therapy or rehabilitation for his wife (the legal one) since 1993. He did have her tested for a time, but stopped all testing in 1993. He insists she once told him she didn't want to survive by artificial means, but he didn't mention her alleged wishes for years after her brain damage, while saying he would care for her for the rest of his life.

Terri Schiavo has never had an MRI or a PET scan, nor a thorough neurological examination. Republican Senate leader Bill Frist, a specialist in heart-lung transplant surgery, has, as The New York Times reported on March 23, "certified [in his practice] that patients were brain dead so that their organs could be transplanted." He is not just "playing doctor" on this case.

During a speech on the Senate floor on March 17, Frist, speaking of Judge Greer's denial of a request for new testing and examinations of Terri, said reasonably, "I would think you would want a complete neurological exam" before determining she must die.

Frist added: "The attorneys for Terri's parents have submitted 33 affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals, all of whom say that Terri should be re-evaluated."

In death penalty cases, defense counsel for retarded and otherwise mentally disabled clients submit extensive medical tests. Ignoring the absence of complete neurological exams, supporters of the deadly decisions by Judge Greer and the trail of appellate jurists keep reminding us how extensive the litigation in this case has been—19 judges in six courts is the mantra. And more have been added. So too in many death penalty cases, but increasingly, close to execution, inmates have been saved by DNA.

As David Gibbs, the lawyer for Terri's parents, has pointed out, there has been a manifest need for a new federal, Fourteenth Amendment review of the case because Terri's death sentence has been based on seven years of "fatally flawed" state court findings, all based on the invincible neglect of elementary due process by Judge George Greer.

I will be returning to the legacy of Terri Schiavo in the weeks ahead because there will certainly be long-term reverberations from this case and its fracturing of the rule of law in the Florida courts and then the federal courts, as well as the disgracefully ignorant coverage of the case by the great majority of the media, including such pillars of the trade as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and the Los Angeles Times as they copied each other's misinformation, like Terri Schiavo being "in a persistent vegetative state."

Do you know that nearly every major disability rights organization in the country has filed a legal brief in support of Terri's right to live?

But before I go back to other Liberty Beat, the CIA's torture renditions, and the whitewashing of the landmark ACLU, and Human Rights First's lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld for his accountability in the widespread abuse of detainees, including evidence of torture, I must correct the media and various "qualified experts" on how a person dies of dehydration if he or she is sentient, as Terri Schiavo demonstrably is.

On March 15's Nightline, in an appallingly one-sided, distorted account of the Schiavo case, Terri's husband, Michael, who'd like to marry the woman he's now living with, said that once Terri's feeding tube is removed at his insistent command, Terri "will drift off into a nice little sleep and eventually pass on and be with God."

As an atheist, I cannot speak to what he describes as his abandoned wife's ultimate destination, but I can tell how Wesley Smith, (consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture) whom I often consult on these bitterly controversial cases because of his carefully researched books and articles describes death by dehydration.

In his book "Forced Exit" (Times Books), Wesley quotes neurologist William Burke: "A conscious person would feel it [dehydration] just as you and I would. . . . Their skin cracks, their tongue cracks, their lips crack. They may have nosebleeds because of the drying of the mucous membranes, and heaving and vomiting might ensue because of the drying out of the stomach lining.

"They feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. Imagine going one day without a glass of water! . . . It is an extremely agonizing death."

On March 23, outside the hospice where Terri Schiavo was growing steadily weaker, her mother, Mary, said to the courts and to anyone who would listen and maybe somehow save her daughter:

"Please stop this cruelty!"

While this cruelty was going on in the hospice, Michael Schiavo's serpentine lawyer, George Felos, said to one and all: "Terri is stable, peaceful, and calm. . . . She looked beautiful."

During the March 21 hearing before Federal Judge James D. Whittemore, who was soon to be another accomplice in the dehydration of Terri, the relentless Mr. Felos, anticipating the end of the deathwatch, said to the judge:

"Yes, life is sacred, but so is liberty, your honor, especially in this country."

It would be useless, but nonetheless, I would like to inform George Felos that, as Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas said: "The history of liberty is the history of due process' "fundamental fairness. "

Contrary to what you've read and seen in most of the media, due process has been lethally absent in Terri Schiavo's long merciless journey through the American court system.

"As to legal concerns," writes William Anderson, a senior psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard University, "a guardian may refuse any medical treatment, but drinking water is not such a procedure. It is not within the power of a guardian to withhold, and not in the power of a rational court to prohibit."

Ralph Nader agrees. In a statement on March 24, he and Wesley Smith (author of, among other books, Culture of Death: The Assault of Medical Ethics in America) said: "The court is imposing process over justice. After the first trial [before Judge Greer], much evidence has been produced that should allow for a new trial, which was the point of the hasty federal legislation.

"If this were a death penalty case, this evidence would demand reconsideration. Yet, an innocent, disabled woman is receiving less justice. . . . This case is rife with doubt. Justice demands that Terri be permitted to live." (Emphasis added.)

But the polls around the country cried out that a considerable majority of Americans wanted her to die without Congress butting in.

A March 20 ABC poll showed that 60 percent of the 501 adults consulted opposed the ultimately unsuccessful federal legislation, and only 35 percent approved. Moreover, 70 percent felt strongly that it was wrong for Congress to get into such personal, private matters, and interfere with what some advocates of euthanasia call "death with dignity." (So much for the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process and equal protection of the laws.)

But, as Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out:

"The poll [questions] say she's 'on life support,' which is not true [since all she needs is water], and that she has 'no consciousness,' which her family and dozens of doctors dispute in sworn affidavits."

Many readers of this column are pro-choice, pro-abortion rights. But what choice did Terri Schiavo have under our vaunted rule of law which the president is eagerly trying to export to the rest of the world? She had not left a living will or a durable power of attorney, and so could not speak for herself. But the American system of justice would not slake her thirst as she, on television, was dying in front of us all.

What kind of a nation are we becoming? The CIA outsources torture in violation of American and international law in the name of the freedoms we are fighting to protect against terrorism. And we have watched as this woman, whose only crime is that she is disabled, is tortured to death by judges, all the way to the Supreme Court.

And keep in mind from the Ralph Nader-Wesley Smith report: "The courts . . . have [also] ordered that no attempts be made to provide her water or food by mouth. Terri swallows her own saliva. Spoon feeding is not medical treatment. This outrageous order proves that the courts are not merely permitting medical treatment to be withheld, they have ordered her to be made dead."

In this country, even condemned serial killers are not executed in this way

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Another Hentoff article March 28, 2005

Judicial barbarism may end in horrific death

Jewish World Review
March 28, 2005

Florida Circuit Court Judge George Greer has again ordered the removal of 41-year-old Terri Schiavo's feeding tube. As of this writing, attempts by the Republican Congressional leadership and some Democrats are being made to save her, through the courts, but the odds are long. If she dies of dehydration and starvation, this grave injustice can affect the rights of many disabled Americans who do not have clearly written directives as to their treatment when they can no longer speak their wishes.

The fundamental issue in Terri's case is disability rights — not the right to die. Throughout all the extensive media coverage of the case, there has been only slight mention — usually none at all — that nearly every major disability rights organization has filed legal briefs to prevent what they and I regard as judicial murder. The protests are not only from pro-lifers and the Christian Right.

Schiavo — who collapsed in 1990 from what may have been a potassium imbalance that temporarily stopped her heart and cut oxygen to her brain — has never been comatose, brain dead or in a persistent vegetative state (despite what some physicians have stated — and others have denied). She is responsive not only to her parents, brother and sister, but also when a new lawyer comes into the room — she turns, as she hears an unfamiliar voice. I have statements from people who have seen her and whose credibility I have reason to trust, as to her unmistakable responsiveness beyond mere reflexes.

She has not been attached to any machines — only to a small feeding tube by which she is fed three times a day.

The primary judge in her case, George Greer, has steadfastly found "clear and convincing evidence" to support the contention of her husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, that before she collapsed in 1990, she said she would not want to continue to live in the state she's been in for 15 years. The only source for this claim is Michael Schiavo and two of his relatives. However, one of Terri's best friends, Diane Christine Meyer, has testified in court that Terri told her forcefully she would, indeed, want to live if she could no longer express her wishes. Judge Greer discounted the testimony.

As to Michael Schiavo's credibility, he has long been living with another woman, with whom he's had two children. He has forbidden therapy or rehabilitation for Terri since 1991, or any further tests since 1993. Terri has never even had an MRI or PET scan, let alone a complete neurological examination. As Republican majority leader, Dr. Bill Frist, who has had experience with disabled patients, said of Judge George Greer on the Senate floor:

"A Florida judge has ruled that Terri is in a persistent vegetative state. This same judge has denied a request for new testing and examinations of Terri by independent and qualified medical professionals. As a doctor, this troubles me. All the more so when the attorney for Terri's parents submitted 33 affidavits from doctors and other medical professionals that Terri should be re-evaluated." And a number of them believe that, with new tests and therapy, she may indeed improve.

Researchers supporting Terri allege Michael Schiavo has denied his wife, a Catholic, sacraments (an important rite in that religion), saying he doesn't want her to choke on the Communion wafer (his lawyer denies this). Yet he pressed for the removal of her feeding tube. On March 15, appearing on ABC-TV's "Nightline" in a disgracefully one-sided account of the case that should shame Ted Koppel (who wasn't on the show but was in charge), Michael Schiavo said that without the feeding tube, Terri "will drift off to a nice little sleep and eventually pass on and be with G-d."

In dread fact, Terri faces a horrific death from dehydration. In covering previous cases when feeding tubes have been removed, I've found out how terribly painful this way of dying is for someone like Terri who is not in a persistent vegetative state and can feel: By the eighth day, without water, her liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, esophagus, tongue and eyeballs will swell and begin to crack.

All of her body's organs — by her ninth or 10th day — will have split and cracked. Not long after this agonizing ordeal, she will die.

Complicit in this egregious denial to Terri of due process and equal protection of the law has been the American Civil Liberties Union. It correctly called unconstitutional the Florida legislation pushed through by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2003 to reinsert the feeding tube because it applied to only one person.

But ever since, the ACLU has supported Michael Schiavo's insistence on putting Terri to death. But it has not shown any awareness of her husband's blatant conflicts of interest — with such results as his withdrawal of therapy and rehabilitation from her.

However, the ACLU would insist that a prison death row inmate receive vastly more civil liberties than Terri Schiavo has from the Florida courts.

As a Feb. 28 letter to the Washington Times from John Sobieski asks: "Who's next? Alzheimer's victims? The elderly in nursing homes? Will we be allowed to do to people what is illegal to do to dogs?"

The courts — and the ignorant coverage by most of the media of this crucial case — have until now appallingly failed Terri Schiavo and the community of the disabled ...

And who knows how may more innocent victims in the years ahead?

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Polls distort Terri's life and death

So many people take the word of pollsters for making decisions for everything from who to vote for, which referendums to vote for or against, and even on whether to kill a human being by dehydration/starvation. Few question those polls, even though they have no idea what was truly asked, or even if the question was honestly accurate in what it was stating.

Awhile back, I wrote a little bit about the blatant propagandizing that goes on today, and has been for many years.

Nat Hentoff is a Jewish atheist columnist who has been writing for years, and is pro-life. He has written on Terri Schiavo and so many other subjects, it is hard to not find words by him somewhere online. His latest is on the POLLS that so many people based their decisions on, and yet were so far off in what was truly going on in her situation. MANY went on TV to talk about this case as 'experts', but never read anything BUT the media reports and the polls!

In tracking down his column today, I also came across a transcript of an interview that was done the same day Terri died... and the other expert (law expert Jamin Rasking) being interviewed with him, even said this!

JAMIN RASKIN: Well, let me first say that Nat Hentoff, whom I respect a lot,
obviously knows a lot of the details of this case. So I speak from the perspective of someone who has followed it only in the newspapers.

HOW DOES ONE go about making an expert opinion, which many take as Gospel, when one does not know anything about the topic being discussed, in this case, a disabled woman's very LIFE hung on this public false information!

I have read the documents, the discharge summary from the first hospital, etc. So did Nat Hentoff. And he also read the questions that pollsters were asking, as I did. I stopped answering them when I saw that they were so one-sided, so wrong, so much ... propaganda.

Hentoff discusses several polls in this article, including ABC's statement for their poll, and then explains the error in it.
"Schiavo suffered brain damage and has been on life support for 16 years. Doctors say she has no consciousness, and her condition is irreversible."

and makes this point as well as many others:

In the March 24 Newsday, before Terri died, Cathy Cleaver Ruse, of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, accurately and bluntly revealed the inexcusable incompetence of the pollsters:

"The (ABC News) poll also says the family disagreement is whether she would have wanted to 'be kept alive.' But Schiavo is not dying — or wasn't, while she was being fed. So the question isn't whether she should be 'kept alive' or 'allowed to die,' but whether to stop feeding her, in which case she will die."

And so she did.

He also quotes another blogger:

The ABC News poll, for example, led to this penetrating response by a valuable blogger, Ed Morrissey ( "Since when does ABC conduct push-polling for euthanasia?"

I urge you to read his entire column....

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Zogby Poll: Americans Not in Favor of Starving Terri Schiavo

Putting this article in its entirety here:

Zogby Poll: Americans Not in Favor of Starving Terri Schiavo

Polls leading up to the death of Terri Schiavo made it appear Americans had formed a consensus in favor of ending her life. However, a new Zogby poll with fairer questions shows the nation clearly supporting Terri and her parents and wanting to protect the lives of other disabled patients.

The Zogby poll found that, if a person becomes incapacitated and has not expressed their preference for medical treatment, as in Terri's case, 43 percent say "the law presume that the person wants to live, even if the person is receiving food and water through a tube" while just 30 percent disagree.

Another Zogby question his directly on Terri's circumstances.

"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.

A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.

"From the very start of this debate, Americans have sat on one of two sides," Concerned Women for America's Lanier Swann said in response to the poll. One side "believes Terri's life has worth and purpose, and the side who saw Michael Schiavo's actions as merciful, and appropriate."

More than three-fourths of Americans agreed, Swann said, "because a person is disabled, that patient should never be denied food and water."

The poll also lent support to members of Congress to who passed legislation seeking to prevent Terri's starvation death and help her parents take their lawsuit to federal courts.

"When there is conflicting evidence on whether or not a patient would want to be on a feeding tube, should elected officials order that a feeding tube be removed or should they order that it remain in place," respondents were asked.

Some 18 percent said the feeding tube should be removed and 42 percent said it should remain in place.

Swann said her group would encourage Congress to adopt legislation that would federal courts to review cases when the medical treatment desire of individuals is not known and the patient's family has a dispute over the care.

"According to these poll results, many Americans do in fact agree with what we're trying to accomplish," she said.

The poll found that 49 percent of Americans believe there should be exceptions to the right of a spouse to act as a guardian for an incapacitated spouse. Only 39 percent disagreed.

When asked directly about Terri's case and told the her estranged husband Michael "has had a girlfriend for 10 years and has two children with her" 56 percent of Americans believed guardianship should have been turned over to Terri's parents while 37 percent disagreed.

- By Steven Ertelt, Life News

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Note to all:
OCCASIONAL CAPS of one or two words in my writings is NOT shouting, but is emphasis only. I cannot underline, and find * to be both time-consuming and distracting, personally.
Should I ever submit an entirely capped blog, you will know I am shouting. God bless.

I have had several tell me that I am against removing G-tubes, when discussing Terri Schiavo. That is NOT the problem. Tubes are removed all the time, after the person no longer needs them.

I am against DEHYDRATING and STARVING a HUMAN BEING whose heart continues to beat, whose lungs continue to function, who is NOT DYING, simply because another human being 'would not want to live like that'.... describing a DISABLED PERSON.

I am against calling someone who has a disability of the brain Brain DEAD when they are NOT brain dead in an attempt to end that person's life. I am against killing someone simply because of a disability. I am against using 'hear say' evidence to 'prove' that this is what the person wanted. I am against depersonalizing a human being by labeling a disabled person to be a 'vegetable'. (A human being NEVER becomes a vegetable.)

I have no problem with not using a respirator/ventilator if there is absolute proof that the location of the brain injury is in such a place (brain stem) where the bodily functions of breathing and heart beating, etc is controlled, and the person's heart/lungs can not ever again begin to function on their own, and the brain damage is so severe that they cannot live. That is NOT Terri's diagnosis.

I have no problem with a person who has been fighting kidney failure for years deciding not to continue on dialysis (note: the person deciding) or another who chooses not to continue chemotherapy after it is becoming a futile battle.

I have a problem with killing a person by denying food and water to that person. Teach them to swallow using the new techniques we have today, and wean them off of tube feedings... no problem. We do it all the time.

The problem is not taking out a tube. It is taking a life when only God has that right. It is denying the person a basic necessity of life. It is treating that person worse than anyone would ever allow an animal to be treated. And do I condone killing that person by 'putting them down' as an animal is? No, That is direct euthanasia, and I do not condone it in any way.

But it would have been more honest, and more humane than starving/dehydrating was and is.

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Carlie Brucia, 11 years old.
Jessica Lunsford, 9 years old.
Sarah Lunde, 13 years old.

That is three young girls kidnapped and murdered, in just over a year, all from Florida, and there may be more that I have missed. This also is not including those from other states. But at the moment, I am more concerned about Florida.

Not only am I concerned about the fact that these young girls' lives have been taken, that at least two were raped, also, and one buried alive.... but that the three relatives that did not turn in one of the murderers were let go rather than prosecuted for obstructing justice. Add to that the possibility that HAD they turned in Couey, Jessica Lunsford MIGHT have been found and spared that horrendous death, and I find it inexcusable that the three were not able to be prosecuted, but instead, were released!!!!

And then there are the problems in the Child Protection area of the State... the missing children and those who have died while in foster care, as well as the lack of protection provided for a disabled woman (Terri Schindler Schiavo), and I am very glad that I am not living in Florida.

Furthermore, I do NOT intend to retire there when I am eligible to retire, as I believe that the elderly there will also have no protection. OH, and if you think that a 'living will' can GIVE you that protection... witness the case of
Mae Magourik of LaGrange, GA, who HAS a living will specifying that food and water should NOT be stopped ....

...............The dehydration is being done in defiance of Magouirk's specific wishes, which she set down in a "living will," and without agreement of her closest living next-of-kin, two siblings and a nephew: A. Byron McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ga.; Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ruth Mullinax's son, Ken Mullinax...........

See the article for the rest of the story. Her granddaughter did not even have permission to MAKE this decision for her. The POA she had was only for finances, not for medical decisions. And Mae's 'disabilities' ?

Glaucoma, and a non-life-threatening heart condition that had just been diagonosed...and her age.

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Jessica and her purple dolphin.......

I have never been for the death penalty. It just never made any sense to me, and seemed like the poorer the convicted, the more likely the death penalty would be the sentence in those states where they had it. I was always very glad to live in a State that did not, and now, in WI--
Life Means Life. No parole. Life in prison.

I am having a very hard time NOT desiring a death penalty sentence right now, however, and have been struggling with anger as I listen to the news out of Florida and watch the anguish of
Jessica Marie Lunsford's father, Mark Lunsford and all of her family, as they learn that she was buried with her purple stuffed dolphin, probably alive.

I am having such a hard time, in fact, that I have even found myself wishing that it were possible to do to Couey what he did to little Jessica....

That is not my rational self speaking, but the parent and grandparent in me who cannot IMAGINE anyone even sexually molesting a child, but then add burying that child (or anyone for that matter) alive!

How she must have suffered. How frightened she must have been the entire time, but then not being able to breathe, there in the dark, all alone with her purple dolphin. I pray that God was merciful to her and took her swiftly, that He provided Angels there to take her swiftly..... I pray for that family, to be healed.

John Evander Couey has been arrested, probably will be found guilty, and won't be
liked by his fellow prisoners. Child molesters rate very low in the eyes of those incarcerated, I understand, and the fact that Jessica was buried alive won't
bode well for him.

May God have Mercy on him.

Officials Say Girl Raped, Buried Alive

Apr 20, 7:24 PM (ET)

(AP) Mark Lunsford, father of murder victim Jessica Lunsford, right, shows his emotion as he speaks at a...
Full Image

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A 9-year-old girl was raped, bound and buried alive, kneeling and clutching a purple stuffed dolphin, state prosecutors said in documents released Wednesday.

Jessica Lunsford's body was found March 19 buried about 150 yards from her house in Homosassa, about 60 miles north of Tampa.

According to the documents, Jessica was found wearing shorts and a shirt - different from the pink nightgown her family said she was wearing when they reported her missing Feb. 24, The Tampa Tribune said in its online edition late Wednesday.

The body was wrapped in two plastic trash bags knotted at her head and feet in a grave covered by a mound of leaves, the state attorney's office said in the documents.

Jessica died of asphyxiation, according to a coroner's report. A convicted sex offender, John Evander Couey, 46, is charged in her slaying.

Officials said they believe Jessica may have been alive in Couey's home while police and volunteers searched for her. After she was killed, Couey fled to Georgia.

A message left for Couey's attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday evening.