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Ruling Hurts Case Against Kevorkian

Sat., April 6, 1996

Handing Dr. Jack Kevorkian another victory, a Michigan appeals court ruled Friday that to convict him at his latest trial, prosecutors must prove he intended for two people to commit suicide.

Last week, Judge David Breck, presiding over Kevorkian’s third trial on assisted-suicide charges, had ruled that prosecutors must prove such intent. Prosecutors appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, but the court sided with Kevorkian.

Kevorkian, 67, has twice escaped conviction, in March and in 1994, under Michigan’s now-expired assisted suicide law, enacted by the Legislature specifically to stop him. The law carried a loophole: It exempted those whose intent was to relieve pain rather than kill.

The latest trial is being held under Michigan common law.

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