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Conrad Murray lawyer criticises jail conditions

By | Published on Thursday 15 December 2011

Conrad Murray

A lawyer working for Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted for causing the death of Michael Jackson through negligence, has hit out at LA prison authorities for the way the medic is being treated in jail, claiming his client is being handled as if he was a serious murderer, and not a man guilty of causing death through negligence not malicious intent.

Charles Peckham, who is working for Murray on the civil cases the doctor’s faces, says it is “offensive” that his client is being kept in isolation and heavily shackled.

Likening Murray’s incarceration to that dealt out to Anthony Hopkins’ character in the Hannibal Lecter movies, Peckham told the Associated Press: “Treating him like Hannibal Lecter is offensive. This man who saved lives made a mistake, and they’re going to make him pay like a mass-murderer”.

Similar concerns have previously been noted by the lawyers who represented Murray in his criminal case. However, a spokesman for the LA Sheriff, who is overseeing Murray’s jail time, insists the nature of the doctor’s incarceration is for the medic’s own safety, rather than punishment, citing earlier fears that the prisoner was suicidal, and also potential threats from other prisoners given the notoriety of his crime and the prominence of his victim.

A spokesman for the LA County Jail system told reporters: “[Murray] is a real target because of his notoriety and because of the Michael Jackson connection. We’re just being extra cautious right now. This is because of his notoriety. It’s not so much the crime itself”.

Peckham is representing Murray in the wrongful death lawsuit being pursued by Joe Jackson. As previously reported, Murray plans to also appeal his criminal conviction and sentence, though this week asked for a public-funded attorney to oversee that case due to a lack of funds following the legal costs of his initial trial.