by Steven Ertelt
November 21, 2005
Southfield, MI (LifeNews.com) — The attorney for convicted assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian has submitted his third request for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to pardon or commit his sentence. He says the jailed pathologist is in grave medical shape and should be allowed to end his sentence for killing a disabled man.
Mayer Morganroth says Kevorkian may not survive in jail until 2007 when he becomes eligible for parole.
Morganroth points to a number of ailments Kevorkian suffers from, including high blood pressure, arthritis, cataracts, osteoporosis and Hepatitis C.
"The man is in dire shape," Morganroth said in a statement Saturday, according to the Associated Press. "Prison has deteriorated him almost to the point of no return."
Kevorkian was convicted in April 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." He argued the murder was a euthanasia or mercy killing, but was sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison.
He is not eligible for parole until 2007 and both a state parole board and Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm both declined to release him earlier on two other requests in 2003 and 2004.
Kevorkian told MSNBC in September he would travel and visit family if granted parole, but he insisted he would not practice assisted suicide or encourages others to do so.
Reporters Rita Cosby asked him if he regretted the assisted suicide deaths of more than 130 people, Kevorkian replied, "Well, I do a little."
Kevorkian also told Cosby that, had Terri Schiavo been presented to him 10 years ago, he would have taken her on as another assisted suicide case.
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 later this year.
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.