Dr. Death Gets His Day in Court

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Dr. Jack Kevorkian finally got what he wanted on Wednesday. A Michigan district judge ordered the infamous Dr. Death to stand trial on charges of first-degree murder for last month's televised euthanasia of Thomas Youk. Kevorkian, who had dared prosecutors to charge him, will have to defend himself on murder, assisted suicide and controlled substance charges for the lethal injection of Youk, which was broadcast on "60 Minutes."

The judge's decision to proceed had been expected, says TIME writer Adam Cohen. "Consent is not a defense to murder," he says. "Kevorkian wants to challenge the law by pursuing jury nullification," says Cohen -- that is, the doctor hopes the jury will refuse to convict even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Not that an acquittal would overturn the law -- only the legislature can do that. But if Michigan jurors send a signal to state law enforcement that they don't want euthanasia cases prosecuted, Kevorkian -- and anyone else -- would be free to help terminally ill residents end their lives. Even when the TV cameras aren't watching.