His fifth trial involved his most sensational case to date: the videotaped death of a 52-year-old-man afflicted with Lou Gehrig's disease that was broadcast nationally on CBS' "60 Minutes" and in which Kevorkian administered the lethal injection himself. This fifth trial was also his most serious yet: Kevorkian was charged with first-degree murder, and the jury convicted him of second-degree murder. The judge set sentencing for April 14, at which time the 70-year-old pathologist could be put away behind bars for life.
The focus of the Kevorkian case will now shift to the sentencing phase and place the spotlight on Judge Jessica Cooper. "She's been meticulously responsible in following the law and explicitly careful to explain everything to Kevorkian, since he chose to represent himself," says Grace. Now, however, it is Cooper who will make the final decision of this difficult case. How harsh should she be on the 70-year-old zealot? Says Grace: "The fact that she let Kevorkian go free pending the sentencing may be an indication that she thinks he's something less than a cold-blooded murderer."