Jermaine Jackson said it best. “100 years would never be enough!” Highlight Hollywood was on the scene when Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced in the involuntary manslaughter case that involved the death of pop music icon Michael Jackson. However, all eyes and ears were on Judge Pastor, a California Superior Court judge, who blasted Conrad Murray for giving his patient propofol in June of 2009, which led to the singer’s death.
Dr. Conrad Murray, the man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, will likely serve only half of his four-year jail sentence due to a recent change in California law that allows non-violent felony offenders to serve their time in county jail instead of state prison. Officials from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said the cardiologist, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, would more than likely be released in two years due to factors such as jail overcrowding.
District Attorney Cooley said following the sentencing, “This is going to be a real test of our criminal justice system to see if it’s meaningful at all.” The California criminal justice system sees convicted criminals released due to chronic overcrowding of the prisons and jails in the state. Judge Pastor acknowledged he had no control of how much of the four year sentence he imposed the doctor would actually serve, saying it was out of his hands due to California law.
However, even though Dr. Murray decided not to speak on his own behalf at the hearing for his sentencing, his words were heard around the courtroom by the documentary he was making, and he clearly blamed Michael Jackson for his own death. That outraged the judge who lit into Murray and calling his behavior, “cycle of horrible medicine” and “medicine madness. Jermaine was steadfast by his mother’s side, but along with him were siblings, LaToya, Tito, Rebbie and Randy. Keeping Michael Jackson’s kids out of the limelight and away from the hearing was a wise decision on the family’s part, and perhaps will bring a measure of respect to the family they’ve not only been given in the past about their behavior.
However, it was Judge Pastor’s tone that said it all. He angrily stated, that Murray “violated his sworn oath for money, fame, prestige.” Then added, there was a “recurring, continuous pattern of deceit, lies,” and cited a “longstanding failure of character” by Dr. Conrad Murray.
Prosecutor David Walgren read from a statement Katherine Jackson made shortly after her son’s death, telling of how the family’s world (collapsed) after Jackson died. Walgren described how Jackson’s daughter Paris was crying at the hospital. “I want to go with you,” she told her father after he had passed. “He trusted he would be cared for by Conrad Murray so he would see another day,” Walgren said.
However, the most chilling moment in the trial came when Judge Pastor flatly accused Dr. Conrad Murray of what everyone else had suspected, and no one dared write or say on television, when the judge said Dr. Murray’s recording of Jackson by the physician’s iPhone may have been, “an insurance policy to be used as blackmail later on.”
He sent a stern warning to physicians throughout the state that this type of behavior by Dr. Conrad Murray will not be tolerated in this state.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photograph Courtesy: Bobby Head/Link 81 Collection
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