Friday, September 11, 2020

Utah man claims his wife's death was not murder but assisted suicide.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Dennis & Jean Chamberlain
Dennis Chamberlain was convicted for attempted murder in the death of his wife, Jean, in 2014. Dennis is asking for parole by claiming it was an assisted suicide and not murder.

Marcos Ortiz, for ABC news - The Justice Files, reported:
In 2014, he was arrested for the murder of his wife, Jean. He eventually accepted a plea bargain and the charge was reduced to attempted murder. He was sentenced to a minimum of three years and up to life in prison.
Chamberlain claimed, during the parole hearing, that it was an assisted suicide, not murder.
Before the hearing officer, Chamberlain continued to maintain it was an assisted suicide, not murder. But an assisted suicide is still against the law in Utah.
“We decided the two of us together to help her pass on to the next life,” he said. “And so what I did is I put a plastic bag on her head … and she didn’t survive very long after that. ”
The act of asphyxiating a person with a plastic bag is murder not assisted suicide. Chamberlain claims that he received advice from the Hemlock Society:

During the 2015 defense of his actions, Chamberlain claimed the two of them were followers of the Hemlock Society. The organization believes it is one’s right to choose when they died. He said he met with members of the group who told him that helping his wife die was an option.

“It wasn’t just my decision,” he said. ” It was mine and my wife Jean’s decision and we went along with the people that were part of that organization.”
Chamberlain's daughter, Sonya Balling, and Jean's sister, Janis Farran don't believe him and don't want him released. Ortiz reported Farran as stating:
“He was not a grieving widower but a calculated killer who planned the execution of our beloved sister and then covered it up,”

“In the face of the evidence of his actions Dennis still denies that he killed her. He has shown no remorse whatsoever.”

“He’d tape her to a chair and leave her,”

“And (he’d) be upset and punish her if she soiled herself.”
Balling also commented on her father's crime:
“In my father’s mind he hasn’t done anything wrong so until he makes an effort to acknowledge his actions for what they truly were or try to change his mindset or make amends, I do not believe he should be released”
If assisted suicide were legal in Utah, Chamberlain could have argued that all he did was complete an act that is legal for doctors to do.

The fact is that putting a plastic bag over someone's head and asphyxiating them to death is murder. He did the act, therefore he should serve his time.

  • Nitschke possibly connected to a murder in America (Link).

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