View Full Version : Dr. Jack Kevorkian to be paroled in June

12-13-2006, 11:12 PM
Dec. 13, 2006. 09:06 PM

LANSING, Mich. Assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian can look forward to leaving prison on June 1, but only after promising he'll never advise or counsel anyone again about the procedure, state officials said Wednesday.

The 78-year-old retired pathologist will have served just more than eight years when he leaves the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, about 100 miles west-southwest of Detroit. He plans to return to the Detroit area and says he will live on a small pension and his Social Security payments.

His attorney, Mayer Morganroth, said he will ask Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Thursday for an earlier release date because of Kevorkian's health problems, which include diabetes, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries in his brain and vertigo, which causes Kevorkian to lose his balance.

He recently fell and cracked two ribs while being transported to a prison hospital in ankle chains, the attorney said.

"I would hope that the governor, now knowing that he's going to be released, will expedite it and release him very quickly,'' Morganroth said.

Granholm this summer ordered corrections authorities to carry out an independent medical evaluation of Kevorkian, but has declined to commute Kevorkian's sentence or grant him a pardon.

Once the nation's most vocal advocate of assisted suicide, Kevorkian is serving a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder in the 1998 poisoning of Thomas Youk, 52 an Oakland County man with Lou Gehrig's disease. Michigan banned assisted suicide in 1998.

Youk's death was videotaped and shown on CBS' 60 Minutes.

Kevorkian, who claimed to have assisted in at least 130 deaths in the 1990s, called it a mercy killing. During a pre-parole interview Thursday with parole board Chairman John Rubitschun, however, he acknowledged that what he did was wrong.

"He did acknowledge that he broke the law. He said, `Legally it was wrong. It was an infraction of the law. I had to do it that way or so I thought,'" said state prisons spokesman Russ Marlan, who sat in on the interview and took extensive notes.

Now that Oregon has a law on the books allowing assisted suicide in certain cases, Kevorkian said he sees that he should have worked on a legislative solution, rather than trying to go through the courts.

"I assumed it was a constitutional issue of choice," Kevorkian said during the interview, according to Marlan. "I learned the best way to approach this issue is at the legislative level.''

Marlan said Kevorkian has been eligible all along to be paroled on June 1, 2007. He was able to earn about a year and nine months' time off for good behaviour, something prisoners whose crimes occurred after December 1998 can't do.

Once that time off was added to the eight years and two-and-a-half months he's been in prison, Kevorkian was eligible for parole because he'd served his minimum sentence of 10 years. The parole board determined he was safe for release and wouldn't be a menace to society, Marlan said.

"His health does play a part, as with all prisoners," Marlan added. "But his health is just one of many, many factors.''

Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca, whose office won the conviction that sent Kevorkian to prison, said he didn't object to the decision to parole him.

"He has served his minimum term, and I did not object to his release," Gorcyca said. "I'm certainly not particularly surprised, just due to his alleged health concerns.''

Kevorkian has applied four times for early release, most recently because he said his health was declining. But the state parole board each time had recommended against doing so.

As he did in previous hearings, Kevorkian again said he would not assist in any suicides if released.

"I think they believed him that he would never do it again. I think they understand he is not well, that he should be treated at a proper facility outside prison," Morganroth said.

Kevorkian told Rubitschun that he plans to do some writing and maybe make some speeches, although he said he doesn't expect them all to be on euthanasia or assisted suicide. Kevorkian also is a painter and likes to play music and anticipates being asked to speak on those topics.

Asked about Kevorkian's health, Marlan replied that Kevorkian said he tried to walk a mile a day around the prison track each morning and afternoon.

"He looked as healthy as a 78-year-old man can be," Marlan added. "He wasn't hobbling or frail. ... He seemed very sharp, and offered up some humour at times and was very witty and intelligent.''

Morganroth insisted that Kevorkian is in very poor health.

"There isn't a chance in the world that he walks a mile a day. Impossible," he said.

When Kevorkian is released on June 1, he will have spent close to 3,000 days in prison since being sentenced in April 1999. He will be on probation for two years, during which time he can't leave the state or change his residence without written permission from state officials.

Among the conditions of his parole is an understanding that he won't be able to be present at any assisted suicide or in any way participate in such activities, including providing operational or implementation information or offering any person advice or counselling in the matter of assisted suicide or euthanasia, Marlan said.

However, he still will be able to talk to audiences about assisted suicide, as long as he doesn't individually counsel anyone.

Marlan said Kevorkian is eager to leave prison.

During his interview, according to Marlan, Kevorkian told Rubitschun, "You can put any conditions you want on me, regarding the circumstances of my crime. I'm not going to do it again.''

He added, "Anything that will bring me back to prison I will avoid. Prison is no place to live.''

12-14-2006, 07:19 AM
10 years for an assisted suicide! Thats barbaric.


Gayle in MD
12-14-2006, 07:26 AM
I wonder how long the good Doctor will wait to end his life, given all his health problems. What a miscarriage of justice, to have locked this man up for all these years.

Gayle in Md.

12-14-2006, 08:04 AM
The sentence was '10 to 25 years'. Ten years was the minimum he had to serve. They could have kept him there much longer.

Given that he was almost seventy when he was originally sentenced it was the equivalent of giving him a life sentence. He will be lucky to get out alive.

Kevorkian made the grievous error of arrogance in the face of potential prosecution. The State of Michigan tried unsuccessfully to pursue criminal charges against him on several occasions. Like John Gotti the "Teflon Don" he thought himself to be the "Teflon Dr." He was obviously dead wrong. His decision to assist a suicide on a nationally broadcast news show like Sixty Minutes was so 'in your face' to the State of Michigan that they were compelled to act. He's clearly paid the price for his arrogance at this point -

This may be neither here nor there but, I believe in assisted suicide. I believe that Dr. K was performing a necessary and humane function in assisting suicides. I firmly believe in the right for an terminally ill individual to choose the timing and the means of their own death. It saddened me grievously to read this article about Dr. K and his suffering at the hands of the State of Michigan.

12-14-2006, 08:25 AM
Any chance Dr. Jack will be appointed George's personal Physician?

Gayle in MD
12-14-2006, 06:02 PM
ROTFLMAO!!!! No such luck!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Our only hope is that he'll get a Texas craving for Tacos from Taco Bell, with lettuce! /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif


12-14-2006, 07:20 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> I wonder how long the good Doctor will wait to end his life, given all his health problems. What a miscarriage of justice, to have locked this man up for all these years.

Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>

Whether or not you agree with his actions, he knew the laws and chose to ignore them. Are you saying he shouldn't have been punished because he thought he was right and the laws were wrong??????? Doesn't that open the door for anyone to break any law they don't agree with??? Wouldn't that let GW off the hook?????


12-14-2006, 07:25 PM
Doesn't that open the door for anyone to break any law they don't agree with??? <hr /></blockquote>

How do you think we got rid of Prohibition?

12-14-2006, 08:17 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote S0Noma:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Doesn't that open the door for anyone to break any law they don't agree with??? <hr /></blockquote>

How do you think we got rid of Prohibition? <hr /></blockquote>

A lot of people went to jail before the law was changed.
You know what they say...If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.


12-14-2006, 10:25 PM
A lot of people went to jail before the law was changed.
You know what they say...If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Steve <hr /></blockquote>

Yes, I know what they say. Nonetheless, fortunes were made during that era by bootleggers and others who took advantage of the publics disregard for the law. Amongst them was Joseph Kennedy who made a fortune smuggling booze.

I don't seem to remember him ever doing any time for that. However, I do remember his son being elected President with the aid of family money when the time was right.

Some laws, particularly those that attempt to legislate morality can sometimes have unexpected negative side-effects. Side-effects that are often far more harmful than the thing that was actually outlawed in the first place.

Prohibition helped to fund the first real organized criminal enterprise that we had in this country (and no, I'm not talking about the Kennedy's). We're still dealing with the consequences of that foolish law to this day.

12-15-2006, 05:21 AM
I can't argue your point. There are a lot of laws that should be eliminated. We have the same situation today with marijuana...how many criminals are making a fortune off pot? But the fact remains that as long as the laws are on the books, anyone can be prosecuted. There is a state law in NC that says it's illegal for a man and woman to live together out of wedlock. A dispatcher for a county sheriff's office was told she either had to marry her boyfriend, move out, or leave the department. It's crazy! But the sheriff said he couldn't have employees breaking the law! /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif (the case is under appeal)

Gayle in MD
12-15-2006, 12:36 PM
No, I'm saying that this law, the right of a terminally ill adult, to decide to end their own suffering, is just one more example of how the interference of religious dogma, into our legal system, prevents the rights of individuals to exercise private decisions, and that a hero, like Dr Kavorkian, being sent to jail for assisting those who suffer, to end their suffering, should never have ever been in jail in the first place. I'm saying, that religious dogma, and those who continuously try to stuff it down everyone else's throat, is to blame for the fact that as human beings, we show more compassion to our pets, than we do to our loved ones.

Gayle in Md.

12-15-2006, 01:37 PM
Yeah, we know your kind.
and you probably don't even agree with the President on this matter:
Snow said Monday that the president remains opposed to using federal funds for such research because it involves "a destruction of human life."

Snow's characterization became an issue on Sunday for White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, who struggled on NBC's "Meet the Press" to answer whether Bush agreed with his spokesman that destruction of unwanted fertilized embryos was tantamount to murder?

"The president thinks that that embryo, that fertilized embryo, is a human life that deserves protection," Bolten said. "I haven't spoken to him about the use of particular terminology," Bolten said.
on Scarborough last nite...they mentioned that the White House has issued an apology to NBC over another issue...and when asked if O'Reilly might also apologize ..."being O'Reilly means never having to say you're sorry"
Say, that could apply here...to our #1 neocon

12-15-2006, 01:58 PM