Judge Michael Pastor just sentenced Dr. Conrad Murray to the maximum allowable term of four years in prison following his involuntary manslaughter conviction.
Murray will likely do his time in L.A. County Jail, and may end up only serving half the sentence due to overcrowding. But he’s been sentenced to the maximum.
Judge Pastor said in his ruling, “There are those who feel Dr. Murray is a saint. There are those who feel he’s the devil. He is neither. He’s a human being.”
One whose actions led to the accidental death of Michael Jackson. Period.
It’s irrelevant, the judge said moments ago, whether Michael’s own actions were reckless or whether he might have met this fate with some other doctor.
The fact is, Michael Jackson died because of the actions of Dr. Murray.
The judge said he looked at Murray’s whole life, and he was impressed. But he added Dr. Murray’s recklessness with Jackson overshadowed any good deeds.
He called the treatment of the pop star, “a cycle of horrible medicine” and said, “Dr. Murray engaged in a recurring, continuous pattern of deceit and lies.”
The judge was making note of Murray’s recently-aired documentary that bashes MJ, and in which the doctor basically denies any wrongdoing in the case.
In the end, the judge said, “Dr. Murray abandoned his patient,” calling his conduct “egregious” and “a disgrace to the medical profession.” Thus, jail time.
Prosecutor David Walgren, urging the maximum punishment, said “The defendant was playing Russian Roulette with Michael Jackson’s life every night.”
Murray’s attorney, Ed Chernoff, attempted unsuccessfully to argue that his client was no risk to the community and a good man who deserved probation.
The judge was unmoved.
D.A. Walgren also asked for $100 million in restitution – projected earnings from the This Is It tour – for MJ’s kids, and reimbursement for his $1.8M funeral.
Pastor punted that issue, ordering Dr. Murray to pay “appropriate restitution” to the Estate and to MJ’s kids at a later date … but only $870 in fines now.
Chernoff, arguing against restitution, never stated the obvious – that Jackson’s estate, and thus his kids made as much, if not more money by passing away.
All he said was Murray couldn’t afford to pay it, which is true. In any case, game over. The physician is headed back to County for the foreseeable future.
Dr. Murray’s sentence: The right punishment?