Conrad Murray to be sentenced in Michael Jackson death
Relatives and friends of Michael Jackson will have the opportunity to address a packed courtroom Tuesday morning before a judge sentences the pop star’s personal physician for his role in Jackson's death.
State law provides for survivors to speak at sentencing and a prosecutor indicated earlier this month that Jackson’s loved ones were interested in doing so.
His parents and siblings attended the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray and the impact of his death on his three children was the focus of the government’s closing arguments.
Murray, 58, has been held in jail since his Nov. 7 conviction for involuntary manslaughter. The conviction carries up to four years in prison and prosecutors have asked Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor to impose the maximum sentence.
In L.A., jail terms are routinely slashed because of jam-packed 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.
His defense wrote in a filing last week that the victim bore some of the blame.
“Mr. Jackson’s self-destructive tendencies played a role in the damage suffered in this case and should be regarded as a contributing factor,” defense lawyers Ed Chernoff, J. Michael Flanagan and Nareg Gourjian wrote.
Murray, who was hired as a concert-tour doctor for Jackson’s “This Is It” comeback attempt, acknowledged giving his patient the surgical anesthetic propofol for insomnia for two months prior to his 2009 death.
He contended that Jackson had administered the final fatal dose of the drug himself, but prosecutors said lapses in Murray’s medical care amounted to manslaughter no matter who injected the drug.
In court papers filed last week, prosecutors said Murray’s lack of remorse supported a lengthy sentence.
“Even worse than failing to accept the slightest level of responsibility, the defendant has placed blame on everyone else, including the one person no longer here to defend himself, Michael Jackson,” Deputy Dist. Attys. David Walgren and Deborah Brazil wrote.
— Harriet Ryan
Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray in court in October. Credit: Robyn Beck / Pool.