A Cautious Man
July 13, 2005
 
From the Department of "Timing is Everything ..."
From No More Mr. Nice Blog's survey of this week's best-seller list, we see that Mark Fuhrman's book on the "untold story" of poor Ms. Terri Shiavo started strong, but is now sinking. He should count himself lucky that he sold as many copies as he did. Right after the book was published, Governor Jeb Bush's unwillingness to face facts caused him to get the local prosecutor to look into bringing charges against Mr. Schiavo for what happened 15 years ago, on the night his wife collapsed.

The prosecutor not only said that there was nothing to file charges about, but that there was no reason to raise all of these allegations -
Understandably, Michael Schiavo is not the only witness who has been inconsistent or had difficulty recalling the timing of events surrounding Terri's collapse and resuscitation. Shortly after finding Terri, Michael Schiavo called his in-laws and told them what happened. It is unclear whether he or the Schindlers called Bobby Schindler who lived in the same complex as Michael and Terri and who immediately went to their apartment and arrived before the paramedics. Although Terri's parents had been awakened in the middle of the night with extremely disturbing news and waited at their house for a subsequent phone call on their daughter's condition, they have no clear idea what time they were called by Michael. They had previously provided our office a timeline indicating that they were called as early as 3-4 a.m. but recently told Thogmartin they could not recall the time. Similarly, Terri's brother, Bobby Schindler, told Dr. Thogmartin he could not remember the time that he was called or initially arrived at the Schiavo residence except in relation to the arrival of the paramedics.

It is not contradicted that Michael Schiavo appeared frantic and extremely distraught throughout the incident. Under these extraordinary circumstances, where both Mr. Schiavo and his accusers have similar difficulty in reconstructing exact times, it cannot be credibly argued that this discrepancy is incriminating evidence. Nor, in light of his consistent and uncontradicted claims that he immediately called 911, can his error in estimating the time be considered an admission that he waited over an hour to get help for his wife. It does not appear that Schiavo's error was considered to be of probative value in either the civil suit or in the subsequent guardianship proceedings. Schiavo was not confronted by opposing lawyers (or by Dr. Thogmartin) with the potential inconsistency nor was he given the exact times recorded by paramedics as a point of reference. The most obvious explanation is also the most logical: under the extremely stressful circumstances his attention to and memory of the exact time were faulty - in the same way that the recollections of Mr. and Mrs. Schindler and Bobby are flawed.
You can read the whole thing at this link. I wish I could say that Mr. Fuhrman is the last vulture who will try to profit from this tragedy, but we all know that isn't going to be the case.

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