A Democratic congressional candidate from Michigan says he has no regrets refusing to sue infamous assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, better known as ‘Dr Death’. for his role in the murder of 130 terminally ill patients. He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with taking either campaign money from Kevorkian’s defense attorney.
As prosecutor, Carl Marlinga was assigned to investigate a potential homicide by Kevorkian. Hugh Gale, who has emphysema, was found dead at the age of 70 after inhaling carbon monoxide from a machine created by Kevorkian, and thEvidence found by a local resident of Macomb County, Michigan indicated that Gale’s death was manslaughter at the hands of Kevorkian, who critics alleged he got away with killing vulnerable people like Scabies for years. One of Kevorkian’s aides left a diary entry in a trash bag that suggested Gale asked for his carbon monoxide mask to be removed mid-procedure, indicating he didn’t want to go through with his suicide attended.
Marlinga, who is now running as a Democrat in Michigan’s 10th congressional district against Republican John James, told the Free Washington Beacon he would not change his 1993 decision as Macomb County prosecutor not to pursue charges against Kevorkian. Marlinga said at the time that the new evidence suggested “that the death was involuntary and that at the last minute the patient changed his mind”, but ultimately he never filed a complaint.
Instead, Marlinga believed Kevorkian’s claim that he followed a rigid protocol, ensuring that Gale consented to the procedure. The damning note discovered by the local resident, argued Kevorkian’s lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, was not proof that a crime had taken place.
“There are no regrets about how it was handled,” Marlinga said. “The prosecutor is not there as part of a morality game, a prosecutor just has to be there to see if the evidence establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Asked if it was appropriate to receive $1,000 in campaign donations from Kevorkian’s attorney shortly after dropping the case, Marlina brushed it off as not unusual. .
Questions about Marlinga’s relationship with Kevorkian and his attorney could be a nagging issue for him in the final month of the midterm campaign cycle. During the election campaign, Marlinga pledged to make ‘our justice system work for EVERYONE, not just those at the top’ and says he ‘has stood up for the elderly’ as a prosecutor , but many of Kevorkian’s 130 victims were elderly.
an independent analysis from the London School of Economics and Political Science concluded that Marlinga’s decision not to prosecute Kevorkian was politically motivated. When presented with the case, Marlinga was mounting her first candidacy for a senior position.
Pursuing Kevorkian, who at the time was popular with Michigan voters could do “political damage,” the London School of Economics newspaper concluded.
“Kevorkian did not operate in a vacuum, and these experienced, experienced leaders brought their own political agendas to their Kevorkian affairs,” the newspaper said.
Over the next 28 years, Kevorkian’s attorney, Fieger, would donate to Marlinga’s various offers for a senior position. Fieger’s most recent donation came this year with a maximum contribution of $2,900 to Marlinga in March.
“I know Geoff Fieger, I love Geoff Fieger,” Marlinga told the Free tag when asked about campaign contributions. “Geoff Fieger is a good lawyer, he’s a friend. And I know he’s very loud, he’s got a lot of opinions. But we always got on well.”
Three months after Marlinga announced he would not press charges against Kevorkian, he showered Fieger with praise. Marlinga compared Fieger in an interview with the New York Times to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, saying he was a “better lawyer.”
“Dr. Kevorkian wants confrontation; he wants to be recognized as a pioneer in this field,” Marlinga said. “Geoffrey Fieger really meets those needs. He will make this a spectacular and controversial issue.”
Following these remarks, Fieger donated $1,000 to Marlinga’s Senate campaign.
When Fieger next ran for governor as a Democrat in 1998, he made a number of controversial remarks, saying “the rabbis are closer to the Nazis than they think” and that one opponent’s parents had sex with farm animals. He lost by almost 25 points.
In 1997, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Marlinga was “sympathetic” towards Kevorkian’s practice. Now Marlinga challenges that characterization.
“I was sensitive to the plight of his victims,” Marlinga told the Free tag. “I was sympathetic to people who have insurmountable pain and no hope of recovery.”
A survey of the Detroit Free Press found Kevorkian’s claims that he followed “strict guidelines” to be false. Despite pledging to wait at least 24 hours before helping a patient commit suicide, the newspaper’s investigation revealed “at least 17 instances in which Kevorkian’s first encounter with the person was also his last.” .
“Kevorkian … approved a written rule requiring that a pain specialist be consulted in all cases where “pain is a major factor” in a patient’s suicidal complaints,” the newspaper writes. “But of 33 cases in which people came to Kevorkian complaining of pain, he failed to see a pain specialist in at least 17.”
Kevorkian was convicted by a jury of second-degree homicide in 1999 for injecting a deadly drug cocktail into a 52-year-old Michigan man suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was then sentenced to 10-25 years in prison.
Then-Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D.), who now serves in President Joe Biden’s cabinet, granted Kevorkian parole for good behavior in 2007.
Further reviews of Kevorkian’s medical practice revealed a myriad of ethically questionable incidents. Studies of his patients revealed that many of them did not suffer from terminal illnesses.
Five of his patients were disease free and the majority of them were pain free. Some, according to the Economist, probably suffered “from nothing more than hypochondria or depression”.
Kevorkian ran an unsuccessful campaign for Michigan’s Ninth District in 2008, winning just 2.6 percent of the vote. He died of liver cancer in 2011.
“A lot of people don’t even remember Jack Kevorkian these days, so I don’t think that’s going to be an issue in the campaign,” Marlinga told the Free tag. “But then again, you know, who knows? I can’t say for sure.