by Steven Ertelt
November 1, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian lost an effort at the Supreme Court to allow him a new trial regarding his conviction in the euthanasia death of a disabled man.
Kevorkian was convicted in 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a Detroit-area man with Lou Gehrig’s disease whose death was shown on the television show "60 Minutes."
Kevorkian argued the murder was a mercy killing, but sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole until 2007. In June, he was denied a request for a new trial by a lower court.
Without comment, the Supreme Court turned back the request for a new trial because of claims Kevorkian had an ineffective attorney. The high court also denied an appeal based on the contention that the prosecution was unconstitutional.
"If it wasn’t Kevorkian’s name on the case, there would have been a different decision," Kevorkian’s attorney Mayer Morganroth said after 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request for a new trial in June.
Kevorkian, who is 75, suffers from a number of medical problems and should be released because of those as well, Morganroth argues.
Morganroth says he will appeal to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to commute Kevorkian’s sentence and release him on parole.
Tom Marzen, a pro-life attorney who specializes in end-of-life issues, told LifeNews.com after the 6th Circuit’s decision, "Jack Kevorkian thumbed his nose at the legal system so many times, it isn’t surprising that the courts are not now willing to give him another chance to do so."
Kevorkian claims to have killed 130 people via assisted suicide but says he will not kill again if he is released.
Producers for a new movie based on an upcoming autobiography by Kevorkian, who has been shopping around his autobiography to publishers.
Michigan authors and Kevorkian friends Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie say they have been helping Kevorkian to prepare a 300-page manuscript, tentatively titled "The Life of Dr. Death."
Meanwhile, Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple and producer Steve Jones plans to begin filming the movie version in Michigan in early 2005.
Jones says Oscar winner Ben Kingsley would head the short list of people he would like to play the imprisoned coroner. Kingsley is a three time Oscar nominee who won the award for best actor in 1982 for his role in the film Gandhi.