Image: Jack Kevorkian
Richard Sheinwald  /  AP file
Jack Kevorkian, a retired pathologist seen in a 1993 file photo, has claimed responsibility for assisting in at least 130 deaths.
updated 12/13/2006 4:32:58 PM ET 2006-12-13T21:32:58

After more than eight years in prison, a frail Dr. Jack Kevorkian will be paroled in June with a promise that he won’t assist in any more suicides, a prison spokesman said Wednesday.

Leo Lalonde, the corrections spokesman, would not provide further details.

Kevorkian, once the nation’s most vocal advocate of assisted suicide for the terminally ill, is serving a 10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder in the 1998 poisoning of Thomas Youk, 52, Oakland County man with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Michigan banned assisted suicide in 1998.

Youk’s death was videotaped and shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Kevorkian, who claimed to have assisted in at least 130 deaths in the 1990s, called it a mercy killing.

In poor health
Mayer Morganroth, Kevorkian’s attorney, said this summer that Kevorkian, now 78, was suffering from hepatitis C and diabetes, that his weight had dropped to 113 pounds and that he had less than a year to live.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm ordered corrections authorities to carry out an independent medical evaluation of Kevorkian, but did not commute the retired pathologist’s sentence, as Morganroth had hoped.

Kevorkian has always been eligible for parole on June 1, 2007, and will now be released on that date, Lalonde said. He directed calls seeking further comment to Russ Marlan, another state corrections spokesman who did not immediately return calls Wednesday.

If Kevorkian is released on June 1, he will have spent close to 3,000 days in prison since being sentenced in April 1999.

He has promised he would not assist in a suicide if he was released from prison.

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