Hero or villain? Murderous or merciful? The jury in Jack Kevorkian, “the Suicide Doctor’s”, trial had to answer this question (Morganthau). Kevorkian was tried for the assisted suicide of Thomas Youk. The jurors had to decide whether to declare Kevorkian responsible for Youk’s death, make Youk responsible for his own fate, or find a compromise of the two. In Reginald Rose’s play Twelve Angry Men, a conflicted jury had to decide the verdict of an equally difficult murder case. Any member of the jury for Twelve Angry Men would find the Jack Kevorkian case full of conflicting ideas and would find it difficult to arrive a verdict.Jack Kevorkian, who called himself the “intellectual heir of Einstein,” assisted in countless suicides; therefore, the Youk suicide was not his first case of euthanasia, assisted suicide, or his first time in court for his actions (Hosenball). According to Crimes and Trials of the Century, “His first trial was for Thomas Hyde- a landscape designer and construction worker with Lou Gehrigs disease which was terminal at age 29” (Chermak). Although Youk’s case was not Kevorkian’s first, it certainly was his most well known. Biography.com states “Kevorkian was prosecuted four times in Michigan for assisted suicides: he was acquitted in three cases and the fourth was declared a mistrial” (“Jack Kevorkian”). Clearly, the possible consequences of his crimes did not affect Kevorkian and he kept assisting people. Although he had many different federal offenses, Kevorkian was not severely punished for his actions until the court case involving Youk.On May 26th 1999 twelve people of the jury found Jack Kevorkian guilty of murder in the second-degree. Dirk Johnson, a writer for the New York Times stated, “His widow, …
…es and Trials of the Century: Vol. 2. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007. Print.
Hosenball, Mark. “The Real Jack Kevorkian.” Newsweek 122.23 (1993): 28. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
“Jack Kevorkian.” 2014. The Biography.com website. Apr 15 2014
Johnson, Dirk. “Kevorkian Sentenced to 10 to 25 Years in Prison.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Apr. 1999. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
McHugh, Paul R. “The Kevorkian Epidemic.” American Scholar 66.1 (1997): 15. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
Morganthau, TomBarrett, Todd. “Dr. Kevorkian’s Death Wish.” Newsweek 121.10 (1993): 46. MAS Ultra – School Edition. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.
People v. Kevorkian. 248 Mich. App. 373, 639 N.W.2d 291, 2001 Mich. App. 225. State ofMichigan Court of Appeals. 1999. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Rose, Reginald. Twelve Angry Men:. N.p.: n.p., 1956. Print.