April 2, 1996 in Nation/World

Kevorkian Evokes Jefferson At Trial

Associated Press

Dr. Jack Kevorkian mockingly wore a colonial-style costume to court Monday for his third trial on assisted-suicide charges - a case that may be prosecutors’ best chance yet of winning a conviction.

“If Thomas Jefferson justifies and endorses and advocates suicide for cancer, why am I in this courtroom?” Kevorkian shouted in a white wig, knee britches, a vest and buckle shoes.

For this trial, held under Michigan common law, Judge David Breck ruled that prosecutors must prove only that Kevorkian knew two women sought to commit suicide and that he gave them the means.

Kevorkian has twice escaped conviction under Michigan’s now-expired assisted suicide law, enacted by the Legislature specifically to stop him. The law exempted anyone whose intent was to relieve pain rather than kill.

Kevorkian was acquitted three weeks ago on charges stemming from two 1993 deaths. And in 1994, he was found innocent in another death.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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