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Assisted Suicide Doctor Released From Prison

A retired U.S. doctor who was jailed for helping terminally ill people to commit suicide has been released from prison after serving eight years of a murder sentence.

Jack Kevorkian, 79, Friday said he felt "wonderful" as he left a prison in Michigan. The former pathologist served less than half of what was a 10-to-25 year sentence.

A jury in Michigan jury sentenced him in 1999, after Kevorkian videotaped himself administering lethal drugs to a patient suffering from a debilitating nervous system disease.

Kevorkian, who was nicknamed "Doctor Death," said he helped at least 130 terminally ill people to commit suicide, often allowing his patients to operate his so-called "suicide machine."

Now, he says he will continue to campaign for the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, but will not break any more laws.

Only one U.S. state, Oregon, has legalized physician-assisted suicide.

Under the terms of his probation, Kevorkian is prohibited from treating elderly patients, and from assisting in any suicides.

Supporters of assisted-suicide credit Kevorkian with drawing attention to their cause, but they take issue with his eccentric methods.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.