Kevorkian Convicted of Second-Degree Murder

 

American Doctor Jack Kevorkian has been convicted of second-degree murder for his role in the death of Thomas Youk, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Kevorkian claims he has assisted in 130 deaths in the last decade. This was his first murder conviction.

In the killing of Thomas Youk, Kevorkian made a videotape of himself administering a lethal injection to the man, and sent it to the television program 60 Minutes – which subsequently aired the video in front of millions of viewers.

During his murder trial Kevorkian represented himself in court, challenging prosecutors to charge him and even threatening to hold a hunger strike if sent to jail. He claimed that some acts “by sheer common sense are not crimes.”

Kevorkian has advocated that the “voluntary self-elimination” of people with disabilities “can only enhance the preservation of public health and welfare.” He even suggested, during a speech to the National Press Club in 1995, that their organs be harvested for others. “Take the organs and save three or four lives while one agonized life ends,” he said. “…But we can’t do that because it’s a sin, the church opposes it, the medical profession opposes it, transplant surgeons oppose it… You’ve got a bunch of insane people running our
institutions.”

 

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