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Jack Kevorkian was a U.S.-based physician who assisted in patient suicides, sparking increased talk on hospice care and "right to die" legislative action.
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On the recording, Kevorkian helped administer the drugs for his patient. Following the broadcast footage, Kevorkian spoke to 60 Minutes reporters, and dared the courts to pursue him legally. Prosecutors took notice, this time bringing a second-degree murder charge against Kevorkian. Kevorkian also decided to serve as his own legal counsel.
On March 26, 1999,
a jury in Oakland County convicted Jack Kevorkian of second-degree murder and the illegal delivery of a controlled substance. That April, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison with the possibility of parole. During the next three years, the Kevorkian attempted to pursue the conviction in appeals court. His request was refused. Lawyers representing Kevorkian sought to bring the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that request was also declined.
On June 1, 2007, after serving a little more than eight years of his sentence, Kevorkian was released from prison on good behavior. The former doctor also promised not to assist in any more suicides. Suffering from liver damage due to the advanced stages of Hepatitis C, doctors suspected Kevorkian had little time left to live. But Kevorkian soon mended, and he began touring the lecture circuit, speaking out about assisted suicide.
On March 12, 2008, Kevorkian announced plans to run as an independent candidate for a seat in U.S. Congress representing Michigan. Though he didn't win the election, he did earn 2.6 percent of the vote.
In 2010, HBO announced that a film about Kevorkian's life, called You Don't Know Jack would premiere in April. The movie starred film legend Al Pacino as Kevorkian, and also featured Susan Sarandon and John Goodman.
On June 3, 2011, at the age of 83, Jack Kevorkian died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He had been hospitalized for about two weeks with kidney and heart problems before his death. He was survived by his sister, Flora Holzheimer.
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