BOSTON - A man accused of beating his stepdaughter tried Tuesday to
convince skeptical justices on the state's highest court that he
should have a say in whether the comatose 11-year-old is removed from
Jason Strickland, who could face a murder charge if Haleigh Poutre
dies, wants the seven-member Supreme Judicial Court to overturn a
juvenile court judge's decision that he has no parental rights over
the girl, who is now in state custody.
"Without intervention from this court, this child will die," said John
Egan, one of Strickland's lawyers.
Strickland's lawyers say the state has pushed for removal of Haleigh's
life support, but no one has argued that the girl should live.
"There should always be someone who will argue for life," Egan said.
Virginia Peel, a lawyer for DSS, which has legal custody of the girl,
said Haleigh's doctors have agreed she will not come out of her
"This is not about the right to life," Peel said. "This is about the
circumstance under which this person is allowed to die."
Both of Haleigh's doctors agree she should be removed from the
ventilator, but they are split over whether her feeding tube should be
They have said that with her feeding tube alone, Haleigh could live as
long as two months.
Without any life support assistance, she would die much sooner, the
(Read the full story at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10349294/)