LANSING (AP) – Assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian is looking forward to doing a little writing and maybe making some speeches when he leaves prison in June for the first time in more than eight years.

The 78-year-old University of Michigan alum plans to live with friends in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham after he’s paroled and will live on a small pension and his Social Security payments, according to his attorney.

But the lawyer, Mayer Morganroth, said he’ll still try to get Kevorkian out of prison sooner.

Officials announced Wednesday that Kevorkian will be released June 1, which is the date he is first eligible for parole after being convicted of second-degree murder in the death of a man with Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Morganroth said he expected to ask Gov. Jennifer Granholm by about 3 p.m. Thursday for an earlier release date because of Kevorkian’s health problems, which include diabetes, hepatitis C, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and vertigo, which causes him to lose his balance. It is possible Granholm won’t personally receive that request until Friday, he said.

Kevorkian, who is living at the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, about 100 miles west-southwest of Detroit, recently fell and cracked two ribs while being transported to a prison hospital in ankle chains, Morganroth said.

“I would hope that the governor, now knowing that he’s going to be released, will expedite it and release him very quickly,” the attorney said.

The Michigan Catholic Conference opposes an early release for Kevorkian and said he should be kept in prison beyond June 1.

“The state has a human rights obligation to provide its prisoners with proper medical and psychological treatment. Unfortunately, the parole board has instead scheduled for release an individual who perpetrated the crime of murder over 130 times,” Sister Monica Kostielney, the conference’s president and chief executive officer, said in a release.

“There must be a proper balance between compassion and justice. Unfortunately, justice was not served in this circumstance. Assisted suicide represents an affront to the dignity of the human person, a crime against life and an attack on humanity,” she said.

Kevorkian already has been turned down for early release four times. Granholm this summer ordered corrections authorities to carry out an independent medical evaluation of Kevorkian, but she has declined to commute Kevorkian’s sentence or grant him a pardon.

Before he was convicted, Kevorkian was flagrant in his efforts to assist those who wanted his help to end their lives.

The retired pathologist sometimes left bodies at motels, coroners’ offices and hospital emergency rooms. He burned state orders against him, showed up at court in costume and challenged authorities to make his actions legal _ or stop him.

“You think I’m going to obey the law? You’re crazy,” he said in 1998 shortly before he was accused of murder in the poisoning of Thomas Youk, 52, of Oakland County.

Youk’s death was videotaped and shown on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” In 1999, Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison, the first time he’d been convicted in a death despite repeated efforts by prosecutors to send him to prison.

Michigan banned assisted suicide in 1998.

Kevorkian, who claimed to have assisted in at least 130 deaths in the 1990s, called Youk’s death a mercy killing. But during a pre-parole interview with parole board Chairman John Rubitschun last week, he acknowledged that what he did was wrong.

“He said, `Legally it was wrong. It was an infraction of the law. I had to do it that way _ or so I thought,'” said Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan, who sat in on the interview and took extensive notes.

Marlan said Kevorkian’s declining health was taken into consideration in the parole decision, along with the question of whether he would be a danger to society.

Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca, whose office won the conviction that sent Kevorkian to prison, said he didn’t object to the decision to parole him and expects Kevorkian will live up to his promise to not participate in any more assisted suicides or counsel anyone considering assisted suicide.

“This man is unpredictable by nature,” Gorcyca said. “(But) I find it hard to believe that after serving his time and gaining release, he would repeat the thing that sent him there in the first place.”

During his time in prison, Kevorkian has written a book and many articles, done a lot of reading and worked on crossword puzzles. And then there’s his correspondence.

“He still gets many, many letters from all around the world,” Marlan said. “Through him and his paralegal, they try to answer all of them.”

When Kevorkian is released June 1, he will have spent close to 3,000 days in prison since being sentenced in April 1999. He will be on probation for two years, during which time he can’t leave the state or change his residence without written permission from state officials.

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