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Thomas More Society Mourns the Death of ND88's Linda Schmidt; Prosecutor Failed to Drop Charges Despite Proof of Terminal Cancer

by Staff
March 5, 2010
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CHICAGO, ( -- Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of Chicago's Thomas More Society--the national public interest law firm whose legal team is defending the Notre Dame 88--is sad to report the death of ND88 client Linda Schmidt who died after a courageous battle with terminal cancer.

"It is with a heavy heart that we report that Linda Schmidt died early last night. While she will be missed by her family and loved ones, as a woman of tremendous faith she will no doubt spend eternity with our Lord," stated Brejcha. "But our grief at losing this dedicated pro-life heroine is greater given the grim truth that she lived her final days under this cloud of criminal charges instigated by Notre Dame, which remained pending even as she departed this life."

Tom Dixon, lead attorney for the ND 88 and a Notre Dame Law alumnus, first sought a voluntary dismissal of the charges against Mrs. Schmidt on February 9, 2010. Late Friday, February 19, St. Joseph County's prosecutor requested documentation proving the claim of illness. Medical documentation proving that Mrs. Schmidt had terminal cancer was provided to the prosecutor's office by early morning February 23. It was also confirmed that Mrs. Schmidt had been given less than two months to live. To date, there has been no response or communication from the prosecutor's office. "This sad turn of events puts a very human face on the plight of these courageous men and women, most 55 or older, whose lives have been turned topsy-turvy with their futures left in limbo because they had the courage to assert their civil rights and stand for truth," observed Brejcha.

Repeated overtures have also been made to the Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., president of Notre Dame, urging that he request that the charges be dropped. "Sadly, our requests have been met with legalistic, disingenuous responses that attempt to pass the buck from Fr. Jenkins to the prosecutor. While only the prosecutor can move the court to drop the charges, those charges were initiated by Notre Dame, whose campus police exercised state powers by arresting the ND88 and hauling them to the county jail," Brejcha said. "As the crimes charged were all for alleged trespassing in violation of Notre Dame's property rights, there is little doubt that the prosecutor will drop the charges if the 'campus landowner' -- Notre Dame -- asks for dismissal. Once again, we urge Notre Dame to put human rights ahead of property rights and publicly request that the prosecutor drop these obnoxious charges."

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