Doctor jailed over Michael Jackson's death is freed
The doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson has been released from jail after serving nearly half of a four-year sentence.
Conrad Murray (60) was released from the Los Angeles jail after a change in California law allowed his time behind bars to be significantly cut.
The former cardiologist was convicted in 2011 of causing Jackson's death in June 2009 by providing him with an overdose of the powerful anaesthetic propofol as a sleeping aid.
Jackson was preparing for a series of comeback concerts and Murray was his personal physician.
Murray's prospects are uncertain. His licence to practise medicine has been suspended or revoked in three states and his face and name are well known due to his association with Jackson and his highly publicised involuntary manslaughter trial.
The former doctor, who was released at lunchtime yesterday, is appealing his conviction, though an appeals court has questioned whether it needs to hear the case.
His lawyer, Valerie Wass, has argued that the court should not dismiss the appeal, because it could alter his overall sentence and reduce some of the stigma his conviction has caused.
Despite being jailed, Murray has not been silent. Audio recordings of his calls have been posted on celebrity website TMZ, and he told the 'Today' show in the US that he cried tears of joy after a civil jury recently decided the promoters of Jackson's comeback shows did not negligently hire him.
He did not, however, give evidence in the civil case or during his criminal trial.
Murray previously maintained clinics in Houston and Las Vegas and frequently complained about conditions in jail after his conviction.
He was allowed to serve his entire sentence in a Los Angeles jail rather than a state prison due to a law aimed at easing overcrowding by shifting non-violent offenders to local lock-ups.
Ms Wass said: "Dr Murray has not received any special treatment in jail and, in fact, has many less privileges than most inmates." She added that he "is looking forward to his release and getting on with his life".
Earlier this month, jurors in a lawsuit filed by Jackson's mother against concert giant AEG Live LLC decided the doctor was not unfit or incompetent to serve as Jackson's tour doctor.