As reported by Spin, Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in prison on November 29 in a Los Angeles court room for his role in Michael Jackson’s untimely death in June 2009. As previously reported, Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for his part in the King of Pop’s death via overdose on the hospital grade sedative Propofol.
Photo: Kevork Djansezian, Getty Imgages
Murrary was hired to manage Jackson’s health as he prepared for his This Is It Tour, the 50 show London run Jackson said he hoped would revitalize his career. In a lengthy speech, Judge Michael Pastor said Murray engaged in “a cycle of horrible medicine” as he announced the four year sentence, also adding that this was “a criminal homicide case” and not a malpractice one, and that “the fact is, Michael Jackson died because of the actions of and the failures to perform legal duties on the part of Dr. Murray.”
The prosecution had all their ducks in line, so to speak, and prosecutor David Walgren laid out the methods by which Murray indicated his own guilt: lying to paramedics, cleaning up the crime scene and being deceitful to the LAPD. Walgren asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence of four years based on Murray’s “reckless and obscene manner” of conducting Michael’s nightly treatments, and that therefore “prison is warranted.”
Murray’s attorney Ed Chernov had the least amount to say, making the simple argument that Dr. Murray would forever have to live with the stigma of killing the King of Pop hanging over his head, and that the good things Murray has done in his life should be considered when handing down a sentence. Chernov said, “Whether he’s a barrista, whether he’s a greeter at Walmart, he’s still going to be the man who killed Michael Jackson.”
Brian Panish, attorney and friend to the Jackson family, read a statement to the court on behalf of the family:
“We still look at each other in disbelief. Is it really possible he is gone?” Panish read. “We are not here to seek revenge, there is nothing you can do today that will bring Michael back,” he continued. “But we will keep the love in our hearts that Michael embodied throughout his life. His passion was for unifying the world through… his artistry…”. The statement concluded with a request for a sentence that “reminds physicians that they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder and cast aside the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.”
As for restitution paid to the Jackson family for their immense loss, prosecutors estimated that the This Is It series of shows would’ve netted Jackson $100 million.