Dying 'Dr. Death' Has Second Thoughts About Assisting Suicides

Marlan said that the parole board recommended the release of prisoners in dire physical condition. Its internal standard has been to recommend the release of anyone whom doctors say has less than 12 months to live.

Morganroth said Kevorkian had met that standard. However, even if the parole board decides Kevorkian should stay behind bars, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm could disregard that recommendation and set him free.

"The governor could still commute a sentence, even though a parole board recommends not to," Marlan said. "But it happens very infrequently."

Granholm's spokeswoman, Liz Boyd, told ABC News that governors normally upheld parole board decisions. Granholm, Boyd said, has commuted seven sentences during her three years in office.

"In the last 30 years, every governor has followed the recommendation of the parole board," Boyd said. "The only commutations approved have been for medical."

Stands by His Position, but Wouldn't Do it Again

While Kevorkian stands firmly by the cause of physician-assisted suicide, his lawyer said he would promote the movement by speaking out or writing, not by helping out in any more suicides.

"At this point, he would never perform it again," Morganroth said. "But he certainly would work towards getting it legalized wherever possible."

In a series of national polls, a majority of Americans expressed their support for Kevorkian's release. It's unclear, however, whether an outpouring of public opinion would do anything to help Kevorkian's bid for freedom.

Kevorkian, Morganroth said, "gets petitions, letters by the carload of support. I get them, too. I just tell them forward them to the governor."

ABC News' Anne Shutkin in New York contributed to this report.

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