Kevorkian Appeal Rejected, Again
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 25, 2004
DETROIT, MICHIGAN--The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected assisted-suicide campaigner Jack Kevorkian's appeal for a new trial.
The appeals court issued a brief one-page decision Tuesday, upholding a November 2003 U.S. District Court ruling which had denied Kevorkian's request to be released from prison instead of serving out his 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder. The District Court judge determined that Kevorkian's claims "are all lacking in substantive merit."
According to the Detroit News, the attorney representing Kevorkian said he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"All I can say is that if it wasn't Jack Kevorkian's name on the case, there would have been a different decision," Meyer Morganroth said. "Jack Kevorkian put a lot of people's nose out of joint. This was an unfair, outrageous trial."
By his own admission, Kevorkian assisted at least 130 people to kill themselves, as part of his campaign to make doctor-assisted suicide legal in the United States. In March of 1999, he was convicted of second-degree murder for inducing the death of Thomas Youk, a man who had amyotropic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Kevorkian was convicted after replaying Youk's video-taped death on the "60 Minutes" television news magazine.
Past attempts to have Kevorkian released prior to his first scheduled parole hearing in 2007 have also failed.
Disability rights advocates have opposed Kevorkian and his crusade to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. They have argued that doing so would essentially make it "open season" for people with disabilities and anyone else who is considered undesirable or a "burden" on society -- particularly at a time when the cost of health care is high. They have also pointed out that most of those Kevorkian helped end their lives were in emotional, psychological or social crises, not in the final stages of terminal illnesses as was previously believed.
Kevorkian, 76, is currently serving time at the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer, Michigan. Many of his supporters have been petitioning Governor Jennifer Granholm to grant a pardon for Kevorkian, who reportedly is having health problems.
Dubbed "Dr. Death" by the media and his opponents, Kevorkian has promised not to assist in any more suicides if released.
Earlier this year, Kevorkian published a 277-page book entitled, "glimmerIQs", in which he reportedly gave his opinions about assisted suicide, diet and other topics.
"The Suicide Machine" (Detroit Free Press)
"Jack Kevorkian: 'Dr. Death'" (Inclusion Daily Express)