WHEREAS the trials of Nazi leaders before military tribunals in Nuremberg, Germany, in the years 1945 to 1949, established precepts of international law, based upon "the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal law of all civilized nations," and binding upon all humanity for all future time; and
WHEREAS Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, which governed the trial of "major war criminals," defines "crimes against humanity," to wit: "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population ... whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated." "Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit any of the foregoing crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any persons in execution of such plan."; and
WHEREAS Article 7 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, states: "The official position of defendants, whether as Heads of State or responsible officials in Government Departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment."; and
WHEREAS the Nuremberg trials established the doctrine of "knew, or should have known," governing the prosecution of persons in official capacities for war crimes and crimes against humanity; that is, that persons in official positions were found guilty if they knew, or should have known, that their official actions would result in murder or other atrocities, offenses or inhumane acts against civilian populations, or any other crimes; and
WHEREAS Count Three--War Crimes, and Count Four--Crimes Against Humanity, of the indictment against the major war criminals, signed by the United States of America, under which 10 of the defendants were found guilty and sentenced to death, specified "inadequate provision of surgical and medical services," as constituting "Murder and Ill-treatment of Civilian Populations...," to wit: "The murder and ill-treatment were carried out by divers means, including shooting, hanging, gassing, starvation, gross over-crowding, systematic under-nutrition, systematic imposition of labor tasks beyond the strength of those ordered to carry them out, inadequate provision of surgical and medical services...." (emphasis added); and
WHEREAS on May 16, 1996, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge signed a bill into law, causing the elimination of state medical assistance to at least 220,000 poor and disabled persons, including services such as acute care and hospitalization, doctor visits, ambulance services and long-term care, thereby resulting in the inadequate provision of surgical and medical services for a large class of the civilian population of the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS the wholesale elimination of health benefits of poor and disabled persons, is known to cause an increase in the death rate of such persons, to wit: The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 311, Number 7 (August 16, 1984), pp. 480-484, reported the results of a study of 186 medically indigent adults, who were among 270,000 persons disqualified from state medical assistance in California in 1982. Another 109 patients, whose benefits were not discontinued, were also enrolled in the study. Evaluations were made just before benefits were terminated, and again six months later. The following are relevant findings and conclusions from the study:
- Five patients in the medically indigent group died during the study period: there were no deaths in the comparison group. Investigations into the circumstances suggest that lack of access to care played a part in at least three (i.e., 1.61 percent of the 186 medically-indigent group under study) of the deaths. (This means that, if this same pattern occurred in Pennsylvania, 1.61 percent of the approximately 220,000 persons who are being denied medical assistance by Gov. Ridge's initiative, or 3,542 human beings, would die within six months, who would not have died otherwise, as a direct result of this bill).
- The clearest evidence of worsened health status in this study group was the increase in uncontrolled hypertension. Statistical models suggest that the relative risk of dying for these patients will increase by 40 percent.
- After six months without medical assistance, the general health of the study patients had worsened.
A follow-up study of the same groups, one year after termination of benefits, was reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 314, Number 19, (May 8, 1986), pp. 1266-1268. The study reported an additional death due to lack of access to care among the medically indigent group, consisting of "pneumonia and malnutrition in a patient with diabetes who delayed obtaining care." The authors concluded: "The present study confirms the findings of our previous work--namely, that after the loss of third-party health-care coverage, access to care and health status worsened.... "The findings of the one year study also indicate that the deterioration was not a temporary phenomenon." (emphasis added); and
WHEREAS Governor Tom Ridge was adequately informed of the consequences of his act, through a variety of media, as well as from appeals and warnings addressed directly to him; and
WHEREAS Governor Tom Ridge either knew, or should have known, that his action of May 16, 1996, in signing into law a measure to eliminate medical assistance for over 220,000 poor and disabled persons, constituted "Murder and Ill-Treatment of Civilian Populations," through "the inadequate provision of surgical and medical services," and that his action furthermore constituted an "inhumane act" committed against a civilian population, all of which actions are "Crimes Against Humanity," as defined in the Nuremberg Tribunals; and
WHEREAS Governor Tom Ridge was a leader, organizer, and instigator in the formulation and execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit the aforesaid Crimes Against Humanity; and
WHEREAS Article VI, Section 6 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifies that, "The Governor and all other civil officers shall be liable to impeachment for any misbehavior in office...."; and
WHEREAS Article VI, Section 7 of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifies that, "All civil officers shall hold their offices on the condition that they behave themselves well while in office, and shall be removed on conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime."; and
WHEREAS the commission of crimes comparable to those of Nazi leaders tried, convicted, and in several instances hanged by the neck until dead at Nuremberg, constitutes gross misbehavior in office and the most infamous of crimes;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNDER AUTHORITY OF ARTICLE VI OF THE PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTION, DOES HEREBY IMPEACH GOVERNOR TOM RIDGE FOR MISBEHAVIOR IN OFFICE AND FOR AN INFAMOUS CRIME, REQUIRING HIS REMOVAL FROM OFFICE AND DISQUALIFICATION TO HOLD ANY OFFICE OF TRUST OR PROFIT UNDER THIS COMMONWEALTH.