Parole Board Recommends Against Early Release For Kevorkian
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 30, 2005
LAPEER, MICHIGAN--For the third time in three years the state parole board has recommended against pardoning or commuting Jack Kevorkian's 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is expected to follow the board's recommendation, as she did in 2003 and 2004, according to spokesperson Liz Boyd.
Kevorkian's attorney, Mayer Morganroth, had asked Granholm to pardon or commute the sentence of the 77-year-old "Dr. Death" because his liver has deteriorated from Hepatitis C to the point that it could fail soon and he might need a transplant in order to survive to his first eligible parole date in 2007.
Morganroth said the assisted suicide crusader has high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arteritis, peripheral arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease and cataracts.
Morganroth said the parole board's December 22 recommendation, made on a 7-2 vote, was irresponsible and outrageous.
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.
He was convicted in March 1999 after inducing the death of Thomas Youk, a man who had amyotropic lateral sclerosis, a condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Kevorkian's conviction came after replaying Youk's videotaped death on the "60 Minutes" television news magazine.
A movie about Kevorkian is currently under production and is expected to be released in 2006.
Many disability rights advocates have long 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 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 originally believed.
"Jack Kevorkian: 'Dr. Death'" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)