01 December 2011

Jackson doc gets 4-year jail term

Michael Jackson’s doctor Conrad Murray was jailed for the maximum four years Tuesday over the star’s 2009 death, as a judge lashed the medic’s behavior as “money-for-medicine madness.”
While he is expected to actually serve less than half of that, Murray could also be forced to pay compensation to Jackson’s family, the judge ruled after a prosecution call for the amount to be set at $100 million.
Jackson’s 81-year-old mother Katherine hailed the sentencing, but added: “Four years is not enough for someone’s life.
“Four years won’t bring my son back, but that’s the law so... I thank the judge,” she said, adding: “At least he got the maximum. I thought the judge was very, very fair.”
In reality the medic – convicted of involuntary manslaughter three weeks ago – will spent much less than the four years behind bars, notably due to California’s prison overcrowding.
A spokesman for the LA County Sheriff’s Department, Steve Whitmore, said Murray is expected to be left with “a little less than two years” in county jail.
Judge Michael Pastor, giving a scathing summary of the case against the 58-year-old doctor, said: “It should be made very clear that experimental medicine is not going to be tolerated.
“And Mr. Jackson was an experiment. The fact that he participated in it does not excuse or lessen the blame of Dr. Murray who simply could have walked away and said no as countless others did.
“Dr Murray was intrigued by the prospect and he engaged in this money-for-medicine madness that is simply not going to be tolerated by me,” he added.
As he jailed the medic for a maximum four years, the usually genial Judge Pastor alleged that Murray recorded a heavily-drugged Jackson speaking weeks before his death as an “insurance policy” to use against him if needed.
Pastor, who won praise for his deft handling of the six-week trial, also blasted Murray for cooperating in a TV documentary partly made during the trial, in which he said he did not feel guilty over the 2009 death.
“Yipes! Talk about blaming the victim. Not only isn’t there any remorse, there’s umbrage and outrage on the part of Dr Murray against the decedent,” he said, referring to a claim that Jackson demanded the drug which killed him.
Pastor’s low view of Murray was made clear shortly after a seven-man, five-woman jury found him guilty on November 7, when he said the medic was a danger to the public and ordered him handcuffed and remanded in custody.
In a no-holds barred 30-minute summing up Tuesday shortly before passing sentence, Pastor notably called Murray’s treatment of the King of Pop a “medical experiment” and “horrible medicine.”
“Dr Murray repeatedly lied, engaged in deceitful misconduct, and endeavored to cover up his transgressions,” he said, accusing the medic of “unconscionable lies” to 911 paramedics by not telling them all the drugs he had given Jackson.
“He had absolutely no sense of remorse... and is, and remains dangerous,” he added. “I believe he’s a danger to the community,” he said, calling Murray “a disgrace to the medical profession.”
Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for having given Jackson the anesthetic propofol nightly for some two months before his death, and on the day he died, June 25, 2009.




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