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Statement by Final Exit Network:

HASTINGS, Minnesota, August 24, 2015 — Final Exit Network was sentenced to pay a $30,000 fine today for “assisting in a suicide” in connection with the 2007 self-deliverance of a member.

Judge Christian Wilton sentenced the organization to the maximum fine.

Final Exit Network was convicted on May 14 of assisting in a suicide, a felony punishable by a fine of $30,000, and of interfering with a body or the scene of a death with the intent to mislead the coroner, a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of $3,000.

It had been previously reported many times that the maximum fine faced by Final Exit Network was $33,000. However, during the sentencing hearing, the State elected not to seek the separate $3,000 fine for the misdemeanor.

The State also sought the payment of $2,9745.63 as “restitution” to the family of Doreen Dunn, 57, as the “victims” of the “crime.” The amount represented the sum spent by Mark Dunn, the decedent’s husband for her burial and headstone. Testimony at the trial indicated Dunn had long-standing plans to separate from his wife and move from their home. Ironically, his belongings were in boxes on the day of her death, waiting to be moved out the next day.

While the Network might have objected to the payment of “restitution,” the organization’s attorney, Robert Rivas, said to the court, “It is a family’s sacred obligation to pay to bury their loved ones, but if Mr. Dunn doesn’t want to have to pay for his wife’s burial, Final Exit Network will pay it for him.”

“We intend to vigorously appeal this for two reasons. One is the importance of protecting all Americans’ free speech rights from encroachment by the government, but the second is to continue our advocacy for competent adults to have the right to make their own end-of-life decisions,” said Janis Landis, the Network’s president, who attended the hearing.

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