(by Ben Stein, Spectator.org) – The local newspaper here in Beverly Hills expressed it best in a headline:

“Terry Schiavo Sentenced To Death.”

Because she had a “husband” who did not want her alive to talk about him or for whatever reason, she was sentenced to die in a cruel and unusual way that the Supreme Court would never have countenanced for the most savage mass killer — slow starvation and dehydration. Why isn’t she excused from the death penalty for that reason alone?

Because the courts read the public opinion polls and the polls show that most people don’t care for her to stay alive, she is sentenced to die. So now we have “Family Feud” justice where the only right answer is the one that most respondents give, and a totally innocent woman has to die because a poll says so.

I wonder if a poll of Aryan Germans would have found a majority who cared enough to pull a lever to save the Jews. I suspect a good majority — voting in total secrecy, of course — would have said, “Let them die. They’re inferior and not worth providing food for.” So now we are at that level.

But when Terri Schiavo is with her Maker let’s be clear what happened: she was executed by the culture of death judiciary, the same ones who say no baby has a right to live until he’s out of the womb by a few days — and you can bet that’s going to change so that babies who are less than perfect will soon be sentenced to death, too. She was executed, despite having committed no crime whatsoever, by thugs in black robes who would not know a law if it were on their breakfast plate.

This is what we have come to. The unelected judiciary has simply taken over, like a gangster governmental branch, from the rest of the government, and it is a judiciary of death. And this is with a Republican, right to life president. When a Democrat wins again, as will surely happen, God help us.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu.

Reprinted here with permission from the American Spectator.  Visit the website at Spectator.org.


1.  What is Mr. Stein implying about Terri Schiavo’s husband?

2.  How does Mr. Stein believe that the courts came to their decisions on Terri’s case?

3.  Mr. Stein describes the judiciary as the ‘culture of death judiciary’ and the ‘unelected judiciary’.  Explain what he means by each label.

4.  Do you agree with Mr. Stein’s opinion of the judiciary in America?  Explain your answer.

5.  Mr. Stein expresses a sentiment that has been talked about recently – that the Democrat party defends the ‘right to die’ and the Republican party defends the ‘right to live’.  Is this a fair assessment?  Explain your answer.