Conrad Murray: Consider doctor’s entire life, defense urges judge
The judge sentencing Dr. Conrad Murray in the death of Michael Jackson should consider the entirety of the physician's life -– and not just the two months he treated the pop star, his defense attorney argued.
"We do not disagree that this is a tragedy," defense attorney Ed Chernoff said. "I do wonder, though, to what extent the court considers the entirety of a man's book of life, as opposed to just one chapter."
Chernoff described Murray's treatment of Jackson as regrettable, but said Murray had built himself up from a "dirt poor" childhood to become a cardiologist who helped treat the poor.
"Does any of that matter?" Chernoff said. "That's the question I have. I think it should matter what Dr. Murray has done in his life."
Chernoff said that whether Murray becomes a barista or a greeter at Wal-Mart, he will always live with the stigma as being the "man who killed Michael Jackson."
"That's who he is now," Chernoff said.
Chernoff argued that Murray should not be given the maximum four-year prison sentence, but instead be given probation.
He said Murray would be able to help the community while on probation.
"I don't think prison would do that," Chernoff said.
Murray, 58, has been held in jail since his Nov. 7 conviction for involuntary manslaughter. The conviction carries a sentence of up to four years in prison and prosecutors have asked Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to impose the maximum sentence.
It is unlikely, however, that Murray would actually serve that sentence. Under new statewide policies designed to ease inmate overcrowding, certain nonviolent offenders are held in county jails.
In L.A., jail terms are routinely slashed because of jampacked county facilities. Murray's lawyers have asked for the most lenient sentence — probation — in papers arguing that the physician has already been punished enough with the loss of his medical license and public contempt.
-- Harriet Ryan and Kimi Yoshino
Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray's defense team, including attorney J. Michael Flanagan, second from right, arrive at the downtown L.A. courthouse Tuesday. Credit: Gus Ruelas / Reuters