Michael Jackson’s Doctor Given Get Out of Jail Free Card
Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson with an overdose of anesthetic, will be released from prison in October, halfway through his four-year manslaughter sentence.
He has been granted an early release in part because of good behavior, in part because of California’s overcrowded prison system. For every day that he has served behind bars in good standing, he has earned an extra day of freedom on the back end of his sentence. As long as he doesn’t get into trouble in the next three months, he’ll be sprung on Oct. 28.
Murray was convicted after the famous pop star died of an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedation drug that the doctor was giving him to help him fall asleep at night. After a contentious 2011 trial during which he argued that Jackson was administering the drug to himself, a jury saw fit to send the good doctor away.
Jackson’s family is reportedly furious that Murray will be getting out early, with some members holding the belief that he should have been convicted of murder and given a much longer sentence to begin with.
“You know what, I can’t even describe the way I feel about him. He did a terrible thing,” Michael’s mother, Katherine, recently said to CNN. “For a person’s life, four years in jail is not enough. I’ll never see my son again. But he can get out and he’ll enjoy his children.”
Make an Example
Murray is also trying to appeal his conviction altogether. His attorney, Valerie Wass, is arguing that the doctor did not receive a fair trial due to Jackson’s fame and the massive publicity that accompanied his death.
“In more ways than one, Jackson was a desperate man,” she wrote in the appeals documents. “Based on his desperate financial state, combined with his physiological problems, Jackson may have acted recklessly and/or irrationally on June 25th by self-injecting.”
She also argued that the trial judge was biased and publicity-seeking, writing “It appears that due to the publicity surrounding the case, and the fact the victim was one of the most famous people in the world, the court was trying to make an example out of appellant.”
Murray could still testify in the singer’s wrongful death trial, although he has to date invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent so as to not jeopardize any of his ongoing criminal proceedings. He has warned that he will expose destructive and damaging evidence if he does take the stand, leaving a voice mail with a friend that said, “Please stop. If you don’t, let this serve as my final warning to both sides. Don’t incite me to testify. Consider this as an imminent nuclear warning. Enough is enough,” according to TMZ.
Jackson’s family is suing concert promoters AEG Live, claiming that they forced Murray to keep Jackson in performance shape at the expense of his health, leading to diminished capacities and ultimately his demise.
There are also reports that if Murray doesn’t talk in court, he could go on television for a tell-all interview that threatens to reveal more dirty secrets about Michael and his family members. Stay tuned.