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Kevorkian in Colonial Garb for New Trial

From Times Wire Services

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

Waving a letter supposedly written by Thomas Jefferson supporting suicide for the terminally ill, the retired pathologist said outside the Oakland County Courthouse: “It’s silly to have modern dress when you’re dealing with ancient jurisprudence.”

Dressed in a white wig tied with a pink ribbon, blue knee-length britches, a gold brocade coat, buckle shoes and a tricorn hat, he said: “This whole thing is idiotic.”

Kevorkian is being tried for helping Marjorie Wantz, 58, and Sherry Miller, 43, take their own lives in a secluded Michigan cabin on Oct. 23, 1991. They were the second and third of 27 people known to have died in Kevorkian’s presence since 1990.

Miller, who suffered from multiple sclerosis, died by inhaling lethal carbon monoxide gas, while Wantz, who suffered from severe pelvic pain, died using Kevorkian’s lethal injection machine.

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Unlike Kevorkian’s last trial, which ended in acquittal on March 8, this trial is not based on Michigan’s now-expired law banning assisted suicide. Instead, by order of the state Supreme Court, he is being tried under common law, which has a lower burden of proof.

If convicted of the felony charges, Kevorkian faces up to five years in prison for each offense. His defense in past cases was that he intended to relieve suffering, not cause deaths.

More than 100 potential jurors were scheduled to fill out eight-page questionnaires Monday in the initial stages of jury selection.


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