Michael Jackson’s Doctor Gets 4-Year Sentence

The doctor found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of pop star Michael Jackson was just sentenced to four years in prison.

In imposing the sentence, Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said Jackson died “because of the actions of and the failures to perform legal duties” on the part of Dr. Conrad Murray. The physician, Pastor said, betrayed his patient and his profession. And Murray, the judge added, tried to “blame the victim” — Jackson — and has shown no remorse.

As NPR’s Karen Grigsby Bates has reported:

Throughout the trial, “Deputy District Attorney David Walgren kept telling jurors [that] Dr. Murray’s gross negligence was a central contributing factor to the pop icon’s death. Walgren said administering the powerful anesthetic propofol in a home setting was reckless and inexcusable — especially since, Walgren said, Dr. Murray had none of the proper backup in case Jackson stopped breathing, a common propofol side-effect. …

“The doctor insisted he used small amounts of propofol to help end an increasingly desperate Jackson’s insomnia — a use the drug isn’t approved for. But that was countered with evidence that he’d ordered vats of the stuff delivered to the apartment he shared with his girlfriend — and a parade of doctors, including a key witness for the defense, who all said they would never use propofol at home.”

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