More than a year after Michael Jackson’s death, the pop icon’s former personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, was in court Monday (August 23) where a judge finally set a preliminary date of January 4, 2011, in the cardiologist’s involuntary-manslaughter trial.
TMZ reported that Murray’s legal team won a request to get a fluid sample from Jackson as part of their defense strategy questioning the accuracy of levels of the surgical anesthetic propofol found in Jackson’s body. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office determined that Jackson, 50, died as a result of acute propofol intoxication.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and has admitted to giving Jackson propofol, a strong anesthetic usually used during surgery but allegedly employed by chronic insomniac Jackson as a sleep aid. Murray’s lawyers have said the physician did not administer any drugs that “should have” caused Jackson’s death. The investigation into his death was equally lengthy, lasting more than eight months, after which Los Angeles prosecutors charged that Murray gave the King of Pop a lethal combination of propofol and other painkillers and sedatives in the hours before the singer was found dead in his rented Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009. Murray faces up to four years in prison if convicted.
After hearing from both sides in the case at the January court date, the judge, Michael Pastor, will determine if there is enough evidence to mount a full trial.
Jackson’s mother and father, Katherine and Joseph, were in court on Monday, according to Radar Online, sitting in the front row as Judge Pastor set the preliminary hearing date. Pastor granted a protective order covering all evidence in the criminal case, meaning it cannot be released to anyone other than the lawyers, paralegals and investigators in the case.
Murray’s defense team reportedly asked for access to three fluids collected by the coroner’s office, including ones taken from syringes and an IV tube to re-examine test results. Pastor ruled that the coroner’s office must preserve the samples, and if defense attorneys and prosecutors cannot agree on the request, he will schedule a hearing on the matter.
Personally, this is getting rather aggravating for me. Despite the fact that we're talking about Michael Jackson, I would still be getting annoyed no matter who the victim was. I cannot for the life of me, ever figure out why there is a question as to whether "there is enough evidence to mount a full trial" - how much more evidence do they need in order to see that this so called Dr. committed involuntary manslaughter?
I am very passionate about injustice; and this is truly an injustice for sure. There have been questions raised such as "Should he be convicted; after all, Michael Jackson asked for the drugs to help him sleep" - this is not the point! It does not matter if he asked for it or not, the simple fact is he was addicted and NO doctor had the right to feed this addiction just because of who MJ was. Murray and every other doctor in the world takes the Hippocratic oath, and Murray certainly did not abide by this oath in any way. He saw dollar signs and simply did not care about Jackson's health. This is quite obvious seeing as how he deliberately tried to cover up his mistake while Michael laid on his bed with no heart beat, waiting until there was no hope for MJ to be revived, before he bothered to call for help. There are so many discriminating facts that I find it hard to believe there should be any question as to whether he committed manslaughter.
As far as evidence goes - there is plenty of it. The amount of drugs in his system is proven, and for Murray to have the nerve to say he was "trying to wean him off Propofol" is ridiculous. There is NO protocol for weaning one off Propofol because no one is ever addicted to this drug in the first place as it is only used in an operating room for anesthesia. He had no business whatsoever giving him the drug in the first place, and anyone with even a little bit of sense would realize that the cocktail of drugs given to Michael was lethal.
I have said it before, I'll say it again; if Joe Blow from the street asked Murray to give him drugs such as the ones MJ was given, would Murray have given it to him? No, because Joe Blow is not a famous and rich celebrity.
I have found myself so angry at this injustice it makes me ill. No one deserves to be fed an addiction, no matter who or what you are. No one deserves to have a doctor who's only thought was of money - and a cardiologist at that.
I hope justice will eventually be served. Yes, MJ was hopelessly addicted, he had problems that no one but him would ever understand, but it is still no excuse for incompetency of a doctor. There were many physicians, even Michael's PA, who refused to put the star's life in danger by giving him what he wanted, and they can still sleep at night knowing they had no part in his death.
In my opinion, if this was a police officer, an FBI agent, a politician, or anyone else with prestige, you can bet there would be no question as to Murray's guilt (as well as it should be) but I can't get over the feeling that since it was the controversial Michael Jackson, too many questions have been raised and justice has not been served in the correct manner.
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