Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Murray prosecutors push for maximum sentence

By | Published on Thursday 24 November 2011

Conrad Murray

Prosecutors in the Conrad Murray case have asked Judge Michael Pastor to sentence the doctor found guilty of causing Michael Jackson’s death to the maximum jail time allowable for the crime of involuntary manslaughter, which in California is four years. They also want the court to order the doc to pay restitution to Jackson’s three children, something that could run into millions of dollars.

According to Reuters, in legal papers submitted ahead of next week’s sentencing, prosecution lawyers say: “Instead of utilising his medical knowledge and training to provide Mr Jackson with proper medical care, the defendant acted as an employee and as a drug dealer and completely corrupted the trust necessary in a proper doctor-patient relationship”.

The prosecutors’ submission to Pastor also claims Murray has shown no remorse for his crime, while also criticising the defendant – who chose not to testify during his trial – for giving an interview as part of that previously reported TV documentary, aired shortly after his conviction, in which he insisted he wasn’t responsible for Michael Jackson’s death. These are all added reasons, the prosecutors say, why Pastor should not show any leniency when sentencing Murray next week.

A separate submission from Murray’s legal team urges the judge to consider their client’s “background and character”, and his history of treating poor patients even though they couldn’t afford to pay for his services. They add that Murray has been a “changed and grief stricken” man ever since Jackson’s death, and that he is therefore already serving “a lifetime sentence of self-punishment”. They want Pastor to sentence Murray to probation not prison time.

It seems likely that Murray will face at least some time in jail, in addition to the few weeks already served since his conviction, though as previously reported, California’s prisons are so full at the moment there is a very high chance that, even if Pastor gave the full jail term, in reality the medic could be out of prison and on house arrest sometime next year.

Possibly more problematic for Murray will be the expected revoking of his medical licenses, and any financial penalties. The prosecution say Jackson’s three children are entitled to restitution from Dr Murray for the financial loss they have suffered due to their father’s demise, which includes lost wages, profits and funeral expenses. The prosecution note that Jackson was due to earn $100 million from the ‘This Is It’ residency in London alone. With Joe Jackson also suing the doctor through the civil courts for damages, Murray could be ordered to pay out sums of money far more than he will ever be able to afford as a result of his conviction for criminal negligence.

Sentencing will take place next week.