by Steven Ertelt
May 23, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Convicted assisted suicide crusader Jack Kevorkian has asked Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the state’s parole board for a pardon or commuting of his sentence for the fourth year in a row. Kevorkian was convicted in April 1999 of killing Thomas Youk, a Detroit-area man with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Youk’s death was shown on the CBS television show "60 Minutes." Kevorkian argued the murder was a euthanasia or mercy killing, but was sentenced for 10 to 25 years in prison.
Kevorkian’s attorney Mayer Morganroth filed another petition on Friday with Granholm and the parole board and repeated his concerns that "Dr. Death’s" deteriorating health warranted his release from prison.
According to an AP report, Morganroth says he’s not sure if Kevorkian will survive another year in prison.
"Kevorkian has become increasingly frail and has fallen twice, injuring his wrist and fracturing two ribs," Morganroth said in a statement, adding that his blood pressure has "gone through the roof."
In February, in a statement obtained by LifeNews.com, Morganroth also said Kevorkian suffers from dangerously high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, temporal arteritis, peripheral arthritis, adrenal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary obstruction disease and cataracts.
The parole board advised against three separate requests for a pardon in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and Governor Granholm followed its recommendation each time by refusing to commute the sentence.
Assisted suicide is not legal in Michigan and Kevorkian would not be able to avail himself of the method of death he used to kill the more than 150 people he claims to have aided in ending their lives.
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 the people he kill, 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.
Kevorkian is not eligible for a parole release until 2007.