Dr. Conrad Murray Convicted and Sentenced, But Not Chastened; and The Proof Is In The Audio and The Video (w/Update)
UPDATE (11/30/11, 8:43 p.m.):
This guy needs, really needs, what I call the Cosmic Slap–being struck from the Universe with everything negative coming to him for behavior unbecoming a human being. From TMZ:
Conrad Murray doesn’t regret for a second doing the documentary that infuriated Judge Michael Pastor, because he wanted the public to hear his side of the story.
Murray — who declined to testify in his trial — spoke with friends and family after the sentence. We’re told Murray said he knew he was going to get the maximum sentence, so it didn’t bother him that he became Judge Michael Pastor’s human punching bag over the things he said in the documentary — in particular, trashing Michael Jackson and not accepting any blame for his death.
And we know more about Murray’s reaction to the sentence. He’s saying he’s “surprisingly upbeat” about the sentence, telling one friend, “I’m just relieved it’s finally over,” adding, “Don’t worry, I’m fine, and I’ll be out soon.”
Uhuh, right. And be what and do what? The nerve of this guy.
He won’t get his medical licenses back. EVER. Not just in Cali, either.
The Feds should be after him for buying and storing with girlfriends large quantities of prescription drugs (seized when his properties were raided by the DEA just after Michael died at his hands). Ain’t there a law about buying way too much of certain drugs, even by licensed physicians, no matter in what state? Especially drugs that can prove addictive?
I’m sure someone is going to cook up something that won’t ever let up on Conrad Murray. With this kind of do-no-wrong attitude, why in hell should he continue as a doctor?
The sentence, part one:
The sentence, part two. Part two is the keeper:
The sentencing, part three:
And then Dr. Murray’s reaching documentary.
Above is the MSNBC documentary that helped to get Conrad Murray, the personal physician to singer Michael Jackson, sentenced to the maximum four years in jail. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor was particularly animated when he spoke from the bench about that documentary, and one of Murray’s attorneys regretted in hindsight, after the sentencing, making Murray available to the media. Under probing by Savannah Guthrie, the self-serving Murray called Michael Jackson a liar and an addict, who made him the fall guy for his death. What a friend this guy turned out to be.
As far as I am concerned, Murray is not a celebrity, not even from rubbing up against Michael Jackson. Instead, he is merely a notorious quack. The guy has no fan base whatsoever; most of the Jackson fans who congregated at the Los Angeles County courthouse wanted him on trial for Michael’s murder. Nobody’s following him on Twitter because they love him. He’s a legend only in his own mind and among a few of his patients. Dr. Oz, he is not. The judge picked up on Murray’s solipsism; and as a result, Pastor went on a roll regarding Murray’s inability to grasp the immensity and impact of his own actions.
The documentary, Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship (or, as it was called when it ran in the UK: The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson) ran on MSNBC in November — days after a jury in Los Angeles found Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s June 2009 death. Murray also gave NBC an exclusive interview for [the] Today show.
Murray was convicted of having administered a lethal dose of propofol and other drugs to the sleep-deprived Jackson in his home, as the pop singer was preparing to stage a career comeback with a series of concerts
In the docu — shot before the conviction and showing Murray and his team preparing his defense over two years — Murray is seen explaining, “I don’t feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong.” Which Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said Tuesday, shortly before unveiling Murray’s sentence, just goes to show you the doctor has no sense of remorse in Jackson’s death.
While Pastor cited “the long standing failure of character on the part of Dr. Murray to serve his patient” in his decision, he added, “I can’t say that my opinion changed after I became aware of the production involving Dr. Murray after the jury verdict in this case.”
While Murray’s defense team acknowledged “that there’s fault here,” the judge said, Murray did not express this same sentiment in his interactions with the security staff at Jackson’s home, the paramedics who responded to the scene, the doctors at the hospital to which Jackson was conveyed, the detectives of the LAPD — “and you certainly didn’t hear it during Dr. Murray’s interview in this faux documentary/faux reality production.”
However, other observers believe that the audio Murray recorded of Jackson’s slurred speech while drugged is what really swayed the judge and the jury early in the trial. I have no idea why and when Murray recorded Michael Jackson, what day or year, what drugs he was on at the time, and even in what context. Perhaps he was recording Jackson then to show him later how badly he needed help. However, the audio effectively showed Murray in even worse light; that he would exploit his famous patient by recording him without his express permission, and when he was not even in his right mind. It was an invasion of his privacy. Imagine Murray pressing the app on his iPhone to impress a new lover or a couple of friends so that they could hear Jackson at his worst.
I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
And here too, one can also ascertain the voice of a middle-aged man, and not the made-up voice that Michael Jackson adopted in public and on camera. It was the voice of the real Michael Jackson, beyond his addictions. Not young, and not strong.
The four-year sentence, though, looks better than what it actually is. Because of overcrowded jails and prisons, Murray may only spend a couple of years or even less behind bars, with credits given for time served.
[...] Under Gov. Jerry Brown‘s prison realignment plan, four years is no longer four years — it’s two.
The realignment is shifting prisoners from state prison to county jails in California to save money and to deal with a court order to relieve some the state’s prison overcrowding.
It will also reduce sentences for many convicts. Those convicted of nonviolent crimes now have to serve only half their sentences. Better yet, they serve their time in county jail rather than state prison. Even if the ACLU’s recent allegations of abuses in Los Angeles County jails are true, it would still be easy time compared to the bleak experience of state prison.
But even two years might be an overstatement of Murray’s time inside, which he will spend in special housing because of his celebrity status. There are all manner of factors that may help him get sprung early, according to the sheriff: his good behavior, how well he follows the rules, and how many other convicts need his bed.
Add in the time he’s already served, and it could be a sentence of just months, or even weeks. We can’t even rule out a few days.
That’s really too bad. He deserves longer; as long as it takes for him to realize how much grasping for money and celebrity destroyed what was left any skill, compassion or common sense he had left as a doctor and cardiologist. Murray still thinks that he had done nothing wrong in his treatment of Jackson. No doubt, he also thinks that he is some kind of martyr. Far from it.
What gets me is that there are still some missing pieces around Michael Jackson’s death. One happens to be the culture of medicine and therapy for pay for certain stars, in which ethics and the Hippocratic Oath go up in flames. Particularly when it comes to certain doctors who are able to secure large quantities of prescription and other drugs for clients and patients from questionable pharmacies or pharmaceutical companies.
Despite Judge Michael Pastor’s sharp rebuke of Dr. Conrad Murray, medical ethics and legal experts say the outcome is unlikely to dramatically change the culture of celebrity medicine.
There are doctors who will apply the same standard of care to their high-profile patients as the non-famous. Those starstruck will be more likely to cave to patients’ demands, overlook their bad habits and operate out of bounds.
“These doctors are ego-crazed and money dependent,” said Dr. Steven Miles of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Miles said it’s dangerous when a doctor enters into an exclusive relationship with a patient especially if the person is rich and famous.
“It’s the kind of environment where the normal checks and balances are very difficult to apply,” he said.
Jackson’s death and other recent celebrity drug-related deaths have raised questions about how far some doctors will go to cater to their clients.
Unfortunately, unless Cali really clamps down on this trade, we will continue to hear about overdoses and medical malpractice suits regarding someone’s death. That’s not going to happen any time soon because like the illicit drug trade (heroin, coke) in this country, it is lucrative. Someone’s palms are getting greased throughout.
Some of Jackson’s family members do not think that even four years behind bars is enough time.
“Four years is not enough for someone’s life,” Jackson’s mother Katherine told KTLA. “It won’t bring him back.” Her son Jermaine Jackson added, “100 years won’t be enough.”
It will never be enough. However, I hope that there will be no more of the ridiculous conspiracy theories entertained by members of Michael’s family, but someone like LaToya is bound to say something stupid in the weeks and months ahead. Ignore them, because so far there is still no evidence tying Dr. Conrad Murray to the will(s) of anyone at AEG, his concert promoters, some of whose members are responsible for executing his will and handling his money for his children. The Jacksons would want so much to get their hands on that money, which is why they’ve continually hinted at conspiracy, but increasingly that’s not going to happen, despite the civil case against AEG.
In fact, the trial effectively put the kibosh to that angle. All of Jackson’s handlers were concerned about his condition and were increasingly suspicious of Murray, who on more than one occasion, told them to back the eff up and let him do his job. Well, we saw how well he did his job. Murray, of course, was acting only for Murray, to the tune of $150,000 a month, which compromised any effectiveness he might have possessed.
Sadly, Michael Jackson is now worth more now than when he was alive. And so it goes.