Dr Jack Kevorkian is serving a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder after being convicted of giving a fatal injection of drugs in 1998. He is eligible for parole in 2007.
Kevorkian’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth said he filed an application with the Michigan Parole Board and Gov. Jennifer Granholm seeking a pardon, parole or commutation, claiming that Kevorkian will probably not survive another year if kept in prison.
In 2003, 2004 and 2005, the parole board recommended denying applications, and, in the past, Granholm followed the board’s advice.
Kevorkian was transferred in February to Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater from the Thumb Correctional Facility in Lapeer.
Kevorkian has fallen twice, injuring his wrist and fracturing two ribs, noted Morganroth in a statement. Kevorkian suffers from hepatitis C and other ailments.
Dr. Stan Levy, an internist who resides in Southfield, has treated Kevorkian intermittently since 1991. “He’s got multiple problems,” said Levy. “My prognosis is that he has less than a year, but I can’t say that flatfootedly. His prognosis would be better out of prison than in.”
Kevorkian acquired hepatitis C when he injected blood from a deceased girl into himself in the 1960s as an experiment to see if blood from deceased people could be used for soldiers on the battlefield.
“He got the disease through acute altruism,” said Levy. “But (prisons) have a policy not to treat people over 60 with hepatitis C.”
Ruth Holmes, a handwriting examiner and trial consultant from Bloomfield Hills, speaks with Kevorkian almost daily, she said.
“This is a man who was not a strong person before he went to prison,” she said, calling him “scrawny” when he was locked up more than seven years ago after being convicted in the poisoning of Thomas Youk, 52, of Waterford Township. Youk had Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Kevorkian called it a mercy killing.
“I’ve watched him get weaker and weaker,” Holmes said, noting she has visited him in prison.
On some phone calls she receives from him, “he can barely speak,” she said. “This hepatitis has kicked in.”
[Literarure on voluntary euthanasia & assisted suicide at ERGO Bookstore]