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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Final Exit Network Alive and Kicking

Posted By on Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM

When Riverfront Times reported on the suicide assistance group the Final Exit Network back in April, the group's future looked grim. Seven members in Arizona and Georgia had been arrested and charged with assisting a suicide and violating Georgia's RICO racketeering laws and a Georgia court had frozen the network's financial assets.

Since then, Derek Humphry's Legal Defense Fund and other private donors have chipped in to pay for bail and legal representation. (Humphry is the author of the so-called suicide manual Final Exit, from which the network took its name.) "More interesting," writes president Jerry Dincin, the case against the so-called "Georgia Four" seems to have ground to a dead halt.

Most interesting, even though the volunteers were arrested in Georgia eight months ago, none have been indicted. Even more interesting, a judge in Georgia has just ordered the state to return all the funds seized because the Georgia Bureau of Investigation had not supported its RICO charge.

We believe the District Attorney in Georgia thought he would shut us down with the arrests, but now, realizing he has a very weak case and fearful of not succeeding, he is delaying proceeding with his case in the hopes that the Arizona case will succeed,  and we will ultimately be defeated. Our lawyers think very differently.

We know that in neither case did the volunteers physically assist anyone in their Exits since it is fundamentally not the way we operate.. We counsel, we advise, we inform - all protected under the first amendment - but we never assist.  We are looking forward to both trials.

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