Assisted Suicide Crusader Jack Kevorkian’s Request for Parole Denied Again

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Assisted Suicide Crusader Jack Kevorkian’s Request for Parole Denied Again Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 7, 2004

Lansing, MI ( — A state parole board has again denied a request from an attorney of convicted assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian to release him. Kevorkian attorney Mayer Morganroth hoped to get his client out of jail on claims he is suffering from poor health.

The Michigan Parole Board won’t parole Kevorkian or commute his sentence, the agency said Tuesday.

In denying the application, the board indicated the request was the same as one it received this time last year.

"The Parole Board is not required to act upon an application which is substantially identical to one which has been denied within two … years of the date of the present application," the board wrote Morganroth, according to an Associated Press report.

The board indicated another request could be filed in November 2005.

Morganroth is also hoping Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm will intervene on Kevorkian’s behalf. Granholm has not indicated whether she will get involved.

Kevorkian, a 75 year-old retired pathologist, suffers from a number of medical problems including a hernia, high blood pressure and arthritis.

In his letter to the parole board, Morganroth argued that the high blood pressure "has been extremely volatile in nature and has risen to the danger level for a heart attack at times."

Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections, previously told AP that medical releases are typically only given to inmates expected to live 12 months or less.

Kevorkian was convicted in 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a Detroit-area man with Lou Gehrig’s disease whose death was shown on the CBS television show "60 Minutes." Kevorkian argued the murder was a mercy killing, but was sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison. He is not eligible for parole until 2007.

Last month, the Supreme Court refused to hear a request to overturn the conviction.

Without comment, the Supreme Court last week turned back a 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.

Kevorkian claims to have killed 130 people via assisted suicide but claims he will not kill again if he is released.

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." Kevorkian has been shopping it around to publishers.

Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple and producer Steve Jones plan to begin filming a 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.