Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced to four years in jail on Tuesday for manslaughter in the death of pop legend Michael Jackson. Murray was found guilty of being responsible for Jackson’s death from an overdose of the powerful sedative propofol on June 25, 2009.
The prosecution in the Michael Jackson death case had asked Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor for the maximum sentence of four years. However, due to prison over-crowding, it is questionable if he will actually serve the full term. More than likely he will serve only two years at most.
In sentencing Murray, Judge Michael Pastor called the doctor’s treatment abhorrent. He also rejected a motion by the defense team to have cameras be thrown out of the courtroom during sentencing.
“Dr. Murray created a set of circumstances and became involved in a cycle of horrible medicine,” the judge said. “The practice of propofol for medicine madness, which violated his sworn obligation, for money, fame prestige and whatever else may have occurred.”
Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense team had asked the court to sentence him to only probation with “substantial community service,” arguing that the defendant’s reputation was already ruined, he would lose his medical license and he had no prior criminal record.
Michael Jackson’s parents and family were present at the sentencing hearing. The family’s attorney, Brian Panish, read a statement to the court on behalf of the Jacksons. In the statement, the family asked the judge to “impose a sentence that reminds physicians they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder.”
Dr. Conrad Murray will face a sentencing hearing Tuesday morning for involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop icon Michael Jackson. Prosecutors want Conrad Murray to serve the maximum four year sentence for his crime, but it is likely that jail overcrowding will reduce that term by as much as half. Because of current California law, as a non-violent offender he will also serve any time he is sentenced to in county jail, rather than prison.
Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will hand down Dr. Conrad Murray’s sentencing this morning. His defense attorneys are arguing for probation, saying he will already lose his medical license and face a lifetime of ostracism over his conviction. They also claim that at least some of the blame should rest with Murray’s patient in contributing to his own death.
â€œMr. Jacksonâ€™s self-destructive tendencies played a role in the damage suffered in this case and should be regarded as a contributing factor,â€ defense lawyers Ed Chernoff, J. Michael Flanagan and Nareg Gourjian said in a filing last week.
During his six-week court case in the death of Michael Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense team argued that the singer had self-administered the overdose of propofol that killed him. Prosecutors argued that Murray’s lapsed attention on the day of Jackson’s death and shoddy medical care overall was enough for him to be convicted of manslaughter no matter who administered the fatal dose.
â€œThe defendant has displayed a complete lack of remorse for causing Michael Jackson’s death. Even worse than failing to accept the slightest level of responsibility, the defendant has placed blame on everyone else, including the one person no longer here to defend himself, Michael Jackson,â€ Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil wrote in the prosecution filing on Murray’s sentencing.
Murray admitted he had been giving Michael Jackson doses of propofol at night to help the singer with insomnia. Propofol is a power anesthetic normally used only in a hospital setting with the patient under constant monitoring and observation.