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death delayed

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 02, 2007

The nauseating photo of CBS shill Mike Wallace giving Jack Kevorkian a welcome-home hug goaded me to dig up Judge Jessica Cooper's statement on the occasion (April 14, 1999) of her sentencing Kevorkian to 10 to 20 years in prison.

This is a court of law and you said you invited yourself here to take a final stand. But this trial was not an opportunity for a referendum. The law prohibiting euthanasia was specifically reviewed and clarified by the Michigan Supreme Court several years ago in a decision involving your very own cases, sir. So the charge here should come as no surprise to you. You invited yourself to the wrong forum. Well, we are a nation of laws, and we are a nation that tolerates differences of opinion because we have a civilized and a nonviolent way of resolving our conflicts that weighs the law and adheres to the law. We have the means and the methods to protest the laws with which we disagree. You can criticize the law, you can write or lecture about the law, you can speak to the media or petition the voters. But you must always stay within the limits provided by the law. You may not break the law. You may not take the law into your own hands. In point of fact, the issue of assisted suicide was addressed in this state by referendum just last November. And while the proponents of that were out campaigning, you were with Thomas Youk. And the voters of the state of Michigan said "no." And they said no two-and-a-half to one. But we are not talking about assisted suicide here. When you purposely inject another human being with what you know to be a lethal dosage of poison, that, sir, is murder. And the jury so found.

Now, you've vilified the jury and the justice system in this case. But every member of that jury had compassion and empathy for Thomas Youk. They had a higher duty that went beyond personal sympathy and emotion. They took an oath to follow the law, not to nullify it. And I am bound by a very similar oath, sir. No one is unmindful of the controversy and emotion that exists over end-of-life issues and pain control. And I assume that the debate will continue in a calm and reasoned forum long after this trial and your activities have faded from public memory. But this trial is not about that controversy. The trial was about you, sir. It was about you and the legal system. And you have ignored and challenged the Legislature and the Supreme Court. And moreover, you've defied your own profession, the medical profession. You stood before this jury and you spoke of your duty as a physician. You repeatedly speak of treating patients to relieve their pain and suffering. You don't have a license to practice medicine. ... This trial was not about the political or moral correctness of euthanasia. It was all about you, sir. It was about lawlessness. It was about disrespect for a society that exists and flourishes because of the strength of the legal system. ... So let's talk just a little bit more about you specifically. You were on bond to another judge when you committed this offense, you were not licensed to practice medicine when you committed this offense and you hadn't been licensed for eight years. And you had the audacity to go on national television, show the world what you did, and dare the legal system to stop you. Well, sir, consider yourself stopped.

"Bound by an oath ..." The language sounds as if it belonged to an earlier century. And, of course, it did.

Backdate: Commenter Lisieux directs us to this 1998 article by Mark Steyn on the egregious Kevorkian and the political symbiosis between assisted suicide and abortion.

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Show 8 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Jun. 13, 2007 1:57 PM ET USA

    Gee, I expect Gov. Grandholm missed this Mich Ct, ruling among others

  • Posted by: - Jun. 03, 2007 1:47 PM ET USA

    Thanks Clorox

  • Posted by: - Jun. 03, 2007 6:44 AM ET USA

    "Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Jessica Cooper plans to leave the bench in July to start up her own mediation and arbitration firm." http://www.freepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070522/NEWS03/705220370/1005/NEWS03

  • Posted by: - Jun. 03, 2007 3:35 AM ET USA

    Three cheers for Judge Jessica Cooper. She certainly hit the nail fair and square on the head.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2007 4:54 PM ET USA

    Thanks for reprinting the Judge's comment. I thought at the time that if it wasn't quite on the level of Washington's farewell or Lincoln at Gettysburg in the history of American utterances, it was certainly the equivalent of Kennedy's ask-not-what-your country or King's I-have-a-dream in American history. And on re-reading it, I still do.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2007 1:32 PM ET USA

    Mark Steyn reposts an excellent article written when Kevorkian was committed to trial in 1998, making explicit the connection between 'euthanasia' and abortion. http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/304/30/

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2007 12:19 PM ET USA

    This trial was not about the political or moral correctness of homosexuality. It was all about you, sir. It was about lawlessness. It was about disrespect for a Church that exists and flourishes because of the strength of the Priesthood. ... So let's talk just a little bit more about you specifically. You were on flight to another Bishop when you committed this offense, you were not authorized to administer a parish when you committed this offense and you hadn't been authorized for many years.

  • Posted by: - Jun. 02, 2007 7:11 AM ET USA

    Wow! What a powerful statement. It gave me goose-bumps reading it, as it cut through the cant and obfuscation of Kervokian. Whatever happened to the judge?

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