The death of Antonin Scalia: Chaos, confusion and conflicting reports

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Yet as details of Scalia’s sudden death trickled in Sunday, it appeared that the hours afterward were anything but orderly. The man known for his elegant legal opinions and profound intellect was found dead in his room at a hunting resort by the resort’s owner, who grew worried when Scalia didn’t appear at breakfast Saturday morning.

It then took hours for authorities in remote West Texas to find a justice of the peace, officials said Sunday. When they did, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara pronounced Scalia dead of natural causes without seeing the body — which is permissible under Texas law — and without ordering an autopsy.

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1 thought on “The death of Antonin Scalia: Chaos, confusion and conflicting reports”

  1. Antonin Scalia’s family made an enormous mistake in not ordering an autopsy. They will pay for it for the remainder of their lives because they will constantly be barraged with conspiracy theories about Scalia’s death. Even if the family was absolutely certain there was no foul play, when someone that high in office dies mysteriously, a thorough autopsy right away would be the smart way to go. While there would still be conspiracy theories, it would, at least, for most people put the situation to rest.

    I think it is a really dumb decision on the family’s part. Already, the person who found the body has said he found Scalia with a “pillow over his head.” If you read his full statements, it doesn’t sound like there was any foul play, as he describes Scalia looking peaceful and like he hadn’t even gone to sleep — just laid down on his bed and died. So, I suspect that person meant to say the pillow was above his head, as in between his head and the headboard of the bed, to indicate that he had just laid back on the bed and died, not gone to sleep; but it sounds like he could have meant the pillow was over Scalia’s face, which would certainly indicate foul play. In context, I don’t think so; but the unfortunate wording is likely to give conspiracy theories a lot to work with.

    I think given the significance of the deceased, it was also entirely foolish for the judge who pronounced him dead to take the lazy route and do so without going there to see the body, exactly as it lay at the moment of death. So, there have been some foolish decisions here and likely sloppy words that will lead to rampant speculation.

    –David

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