by Steven Ertelt
November 27, 2007
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian will present his first speech following his release from prison after killing a disabled man before a nationally televised audience. The retired pathologist plans to give a presentation Thursday night to students at Wayne State University.
Instead of advocating euthanasia, Kevorkian plans to discuss prison reforms and laws regarding homicide during the free lecture.
The WSU Criminal Justice Club is sponsoring the talk and said in a statement that the event could be a "rare educational opportunity that may never present itself again."
The Criminal Justice Department and Student Council are co-sponsoring the talk.
Kevorkian, now 79, served just eight years in prison after the televised death of Thomas Youk netted him a 25-year sentence. He claims to have killed more than 130 people in assisted suicides during the 1990s.
In October, Kevorkian said he will focus on promoting prison reform and civil rights instead of advocating euthanasia.
Though he is ready to hit the lecture circuit, Kevorkian told the Detroit News that he has "more important" issues than assisted suicide to discuss.
“I feel good now and have some things to do,” Kevorkian told the newspaper.
“I have a couple of issues bigger than euthanasia, both controversial, that I’d like to get out there if they let me," he said, referring to whether or not the parole board will allow him to travel and speak.
Still, Kevorkian told the News he will also focus on a new tactic in the assisted suicide debate — saying that he will use the Ninth Amendment to show that even though euthanasia isn’t mentioned as a right in the Constitution that courts can’t prevent it.
"If it (Ninth Amendment) would be applied the way it was supposed to, I would never have been jailed or have gone to prison," Kevorkian said. "And it would also put an end to any debate over so many issues: Euthanasia and abortion…."
Kevorkian’s first speech, planned for the University of Florida, was postponed until January after significant protest from pro-life advocates, including Terri Schiavo’s family.
Last month, Kevorkian said he was talking with HBO officials about making a movie of his life.
Pro-life advocates worry such a movie would promote euthanasia and draw attention to the former pathologist, who was convicted of second-degree murder after showing a video of him killing a patient on national television.
Producer Steve Jones has been talking for years about a movie based on Kevorkian’s life and he told the Celebrity News Service he’s excited the euthanasia activist wants his story told.
"He doesn’t grant interviews readily, but now he wants his story to be told," said Jones. "Whether or not you agree with his views or actions, one thing is for sure: His passion is something to be in awe of. He gave up eight years of his life to make a point."
Jones said the movie will be loosely based on Neal Nicol and Harry Wylie’s book "Between the Dying and the Dead: Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s Life and the Battle to Legalize Euthanasia." The script is slated to be written by "Breach" writer Adam Mazer.
ACTION: Protest this event by sending your comments to the WSU Criminal Justice Club at [email protected].