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    Father accuses judge of bias

    Terri Schiavo's father wants the judge removed from the case.


    © St. Petersburg Times, published April 13, 2001

    CLEARWATER -- The father of a woman whose right-to-die case has drawn national publicity accused Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge George Greer on Thursday of bias and is asking that he be disqualified from hearing further motions in the case.

    Bob Schindler said he wants the court to consider several new requests, including one to remove his son-in-law as his daughter's guardian but fears he will not get a fair hearing from Greer.

    Greer presided over the family's emotional trial last year, ruling that Michael Schiavo can remove his wife's feeding tube despite her parents' objections because of evidence presented that she would not want her life extended by life support. Terri Schiavo suffered brain damage 11 years ago.

    The judge's decision was upheld by the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland.

    "Judge Greer seems totally in Mr. Schiavo's camp and not willing or able to consider these issues with an objective, unbiased mind," Schindler wrote. "Without a fair and open mind from the trial judge, my daughter is likely to die without ever having her interests voiced, much less advocated."

    Schiavo has court permission to remove the feeding tube at 1 p.m. April 20. But on Thursday, Schindler and his wife, Mary, asked the Florida Supreme Court to postpone that date.

    Greer declined to comment Thursday except to acknowledge that he received the request and that it was being reviewed. The judge would decide whether to remove himself from the case.

    In an affidavit, Schindler says Greer may have violated Mrs. Schiavo's fundamental due process rights; did not permit a family member to testify about conversations he had with her; and allowed Schiavo to remain his wife's guardian even though he would benefit financially from her death.

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