Published Nov 29, 2011Dr. Conrad Murray has just received the maximum of four years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter of pop star Michael Jackson. The doctor had been convicted of the charge earlier this month and was awaiting his sentence, which was delivered by Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor in L.A. this morning (November 29).
UPDATE: As CBC reports, Murray will serve less than two years in jail, despite the judge's original sentence of four year announced earlier today. According to sheriff officials, Murray will serve a little less than two years, housed in a one-man cell and away from other prisoners.
According to an Associated Press report, the judge scolded Murray for prescribing propofol, a powerful anaesthetic drug that ended up taking Jackson's life, calling the doctor's actions a "horrific violation of trust." Murray had been administering the drug to help the singer sleep.
Jackson died of an overdose in June 2009.
"Dr. Murray created a set of circumstances and became involved in a cycle of horrible medicine," Pastor said. "The practice of propofol for medicine madness, which violated his sworn obligation, for money, fame prestige and whatever else may have occurred."
A statement from the Jackson family was delivered in the courtroom by lawyer Brian Panish. It read, "The Bible reminds us that men cannot do justice, they can only seek justice. That is all we can ask as a family, and that is all we ask for here."
It continued with, "We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do today that will bring Michael back."
Murray's lawyers initially argued that the death was a suicide, but that angle was dropped. Defence lawyer Chernoff also claimed that "Michael Jackson was a drug seeker."
Murray had refused to testify in the case, but did participate in a documentary that found him blaming Jackson for the overdose. His statements ended up coming off in a less favourable light.
"The defendant has displayed a complete lack of remorse for causing Michael Jackson's death," prosecutors wrote in a filing last week. "Even worse than failing to accept even the slightest level of responsibility, [Murray] has placed blame on everyone else, including the one person no longer here to defend himself, Michael Jackson."