Monday 11 December 2017

Jackson doctor gets four years as judge labels him a 'disgrace'

Conrad Murray in court yesterday where he was sentenced to
four years for the involuntary manslaughter of pop star Michael Jackson
Conrad Murray in court yesterday where he was sentenced to four years for the involuntary manslaughter of pop star Michael Jackson

Nick Allen in Los Angeles

Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson's death, was jailed for four years with a judge describing him as a "disgrace to the medical profession".

Handing down the maximum sentence for a charge of involuntary manslaughter, Judge Michael Pastor delivered an excoriating assessment of Murray, saying he had engaged in a "horrible cycle of medicine" and committed a "horrific violation of trust".

Murray, dressed in a grey suit, showed no emotion and sat with his hands clasped in front of him as he was sentenced. He declined the opportunity to address the court.

Members of Jackson's family including his mother Katherine, sat a few yards away.

Due to overcrowding in California's prison system the time Murray actually serves behind bars will immediately be cut in half, and he may serve no time at all in jail.

Manslaughter

The state recently classified involuntary manslaughter as a non-violent offence for which the sentence can be served under house arrest. That decision will be taken by Los Angeles County prison officials. Judge Pastor said his court had "no authority" to decide if Murray would serve his sentence in prison.

Jackson died on June 25, 2009, at a rented mansion in Los Angeles. Murray had been hired as his personal physician to look after the singer as he rehearsed for 50 planned concerts at the O2 Arena in London.

Murray admitted giving Jackson propofol, a powerful anaesthetic, to help him sleep but claimed the amount was too small to kill the singer.

A jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter earlier this month.

In delivering the sentence Judge Pastor said: "Dr Murray engaged in money for medicine madness that is not going to be tolerated by me. This was an unacceptable, egregious series of departures from the accepted standard of care.

"An honourable profession bears the scourge, the blot of what happened here.

"There are those who feel Dr Murray is a saint, there are those who feel Dr Murray is the devil. He is neither. He is a human being and he stands convicted of the death of another human being. He has absolutely no sense of remorse or fault and is, and remains, dangerous."

The 58-year-old cardiologist had "violated his own obligations for money, fame, prestige", the judge said. The doctor had ordered propofol in "staggering and unprecedented quantities," displayed a "long-standing failure of character" and told "unconscionable lies" to paramedics who tried to save the singer, he added.

The court heard Jackson's mother had written a letter also asking for the maximum sentence, and describing how she felt "betrayed". (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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