Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer, Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez

News Feed Item

Final Exit Network Presents Powerful Testimony in Criminal Case Against Its Volunteers

Organization Looks to Dismiss Case, Argues Minnesota Law Violates First Amendment Rights

TALLAHASSEE, FL--(Marketwire - December 27, 2012) -  Final Exit Network made a powerful presentation to a Minnesota court on Tuesday, December 18 in favor of dismissing a criminal case against its volunteers, arguing that the Minnesota law violates their First Amendment rights.

The Final Exit Network corporation, two former presidents, a former medical director and a former case coordinator were named in a 17-count indictment filed last May in Dakota County District Court, charging them with "advising, encouraging or assisting" in a "suicide," aiding and abetting, and tampering with evidence at the scene of a death. The charges arise from the May 30, 2007 self deliverance of Doreen Gunderson Dunn, 57, a resident of Apple Valley.

District Judge Karen Asphaug held a hearing in Hastings, a small town on the Mississippi River a half-hour south of St. Paul, on several motions filed by the defense team. Final Exit Network board members traveled from California, Florida and Ohio and slogged through the snow to show support for the indicted volunteers, along with about 10 FEN members from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and a law professor and his student, who dropped in -- wearing FEN lapel pins -- to see a "right to die" case in real life.

The main argument was over the constitutionality of the Minnesota law. Though Final Exit Network acknowledges that it is constitutionally permissible to criminalize actual, tangible "assisting" in a "suicide," the organization maintains that Minnesota's law violates the First Amendment-protected right to freedom of speech by also prohibiting "advising" about "suicide" or "encouraging" a "suicide." Though Final Exit Network's protocols prohibit "advising" anyone in favor of suicide, or encouraging a suicide, the statute's language could be construed to prohibit giving information, education, and moral support, which FEN does.

"The prosecutor seemed to be saying Final Exit Network's speech was not protected by the First Amendment because it was 'integral to a crime,'" FEN's president Wendell Stephenson, of Fresno, California, said after the hearing. "This made no sense, because our speech itself was the crime. It was not a means to some other crime. I mean, suicide is not a crime. So what crime is our speech 'integral' to?"

Puzzling over the meaning of the statute, Judge Asphaug pointedly asked the prosecutors whether Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner broke the law in writing The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures, which debuted in Minneapolis and was later produced off-Broadway. In the play, when the elderly, disillusioned protagonist announces his intent to die, the widow of an old friend gives him a graphic explanation -- "with props," the judge exclaimed -- of how to terminate his life.

Judge Asphaug said she had seen the Kushner play's debut at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis in 2009. She was left with an indelible memory of the graphic scene.

The prosecutor said Kushner and the producers of the play did not break the law because they did not "intentionally" target the information at a person who was "actively contemplating" his or her own "suicide."

No rulings were announced at the hearing. The judge said she would enter written rulings as soon as possible.

FEN's former case coordinator Roberta Massey, 67, of Bear, Delaware, is represented by Ronald I. Meshbesher, the "dean" of Minnesota criminal defense lawyers. Former president Ted Goodwin, 66, of Punta Gorda, Florida, is represented by John Lundquist, a white collar criminal defense specialist. FEN's former medical director, Dr. Larry Egbert, 85, of Baltimore, is represented by Donald F. Samuel and Kristen Wright Novay, of Garland, Samuel & Loeb, in Atlanta, who previously -- with 100 percent success -- defended Dr. Egbert from criminal prosecutions brought in Georgia and Arizona.

Finally, former FEN president Jerry Dincin, 82, of Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, is represented by FEN's general counsel, Robert Rivas, of the Tallahassee office of Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L., a law firm based in Palm Beach County, Florida, who assembled the defense team. The defense team also has local support from Bill Sherry, who has practiced criminal defense law in Dakota County for 20 years.

For further information, contact
Rob Rivas
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Organizations do not need a Big Data strategy; they need a business strategy that incorporates Big Data. Most organizations lack a road map for using Big Data to optimize key business processes, deliver a differentiated customer experience, or uncover new business opportunities. They do not understand what’s possible with respect to integrating Big Data into the business model.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.