Jack Kevorkian

Meet the late Dr. Death

Who is this guy?

Jacob "Jack" Kevorkian was an advocate of assisted suicide, who had been reported to done over 130 assisted suicides. Because of legality "grayness" of this subject he had been charged and brought to trial four times, with only the last trial he was found guilty of second degree murder.

Why were his trials his important?

His trials were important on the fact that is raised awareness for the issue of assisted suicide and how the criminal justice views such things.


It all begin in 1989 with Jane Adkins, who was of dying Alzheimer's disease, contacted Jack as she heard he has suicide device, which he called the Thanatron.
In June 1990, in a campsite in Michigan where assisted suicide was legal, Jack Kavorkian hooked up the Thanatron to Jane Adkins and within minutes she had passed out and passed on. He called 911 and explained what happened. And within a few hours he had become well-known across America.

The Debat Begins as First Trial Starts

The first trial was blunder with Richard Thompson attempting charge him with Jack Kevorkian with first degree murder. However the case was dismissed with the fact assisted suicide wasn't a crime in Michigan. And when Thompson tried to keep the machine away from Jack, if was overruled based on the fact he wasn't found guilty of any crimes.

By this point and time, doctor assisted suicide was now front and center. When in October 1991, he assisted two more suicides, the controversy began to heat up.

Within a month, the Michigan Board of Medicine revoked his license. In February, the doctor was indicted on two accounts of murder and one account of a delivery of a controlled substance. After he posted bail, he assisted two more people with their suicide.

Circuit Court Judge David Breck dismiss earlier charges because of, yet again, the law said assisted suicide was legal.

However the House of Representatives in Michigan decided to ban assisted suicide for fifteen months to have committee on the issue.

Next Part

Public debate grew more intense. The second trial happened after he was arrested for being present at a suicide. He did a few more assissted suicides before the trial. And they bailed out. December 1993 he returned to jail. He went to court ten days later. Three days later, judge Richard C. Kaufman considered the law to unconstituional. In December of 1995, after the 15 month ban was up and Dr. Death committed more assisted suicides, the Michigan Senate passed a law outlawing the death penalty. Jack was going to court for the now murders. His attorney was convinced he would do well.

The Trial that put him in prison

A few years passed and the controversy continued, when in 1998 a trial began. It was because Kevorkian this time had video taped his himself actually pushing the medicine into a man's vein and sent it to 60 minutes because he was arrogant at this point. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.