KEVORKIAN: Case Goes to Jury After Impassioned Plea
A Michigan jury began deliberations yesterday in the murder trial of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, as the assisted suicide and euthanasia proponent "stumbled through" his closing argument, appealing "to the jurors' common sense" (McClear/Truby/Trowbridge, Detroit News, 3/26). An impassioned Kevorkian said, "Look at me. Do you see a criminal? Do you see a killer, a murderer? If you do, then you must convict. Then you will take on the harsh judgment of history and the harsh judgment of your children and grandchildren if they ever need to make that choice." Closing for the prosecution, Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor John Skrzynski said the retired pathologist "came like a medical hit man in the night with a bag of poison to do his job ... He's asking you to give him a right no one else in this state has. This is about Jack Kevorkian's right to kill" (Murphy/Swickard, Detroit Free Press, 3/26). He added, "there are 11 million souls buried in Europe that can tell you that when you make euthanasia a state policy, some catastrophic things can evolve" (Hyde, AP/USA Today, 3/26). The Los Angeles Times reports that the seven-woman, five-man jury deliberated nearly five hours yesterday, and will continue today in a case that was expected to take more than a week, but saw closing arguments after only three days (Slater, 3/26). The New York Post reports that "Kevorkian's team is hoping for a 'jury nullification' verdict, in which jurors set aside the law out of sympathy for the defendant" (Connor, 3/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.