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Michael Jackson’s Doctor Sentenced to 4 Years Behind Bars

Michael Jackson’s personal physician was sentenced today to four years behind bars for the singer’s June 2009 death from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol.

Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, was convicted Nov. 7 of involuntary manslaughter.

Despite the four-year sentence, the exact amount of time Murray will serve behind bars was unclear due to overcrowding in the county jail system, where he will spend his time.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor lashed out at Murray during the sentencing hearing, saying the doctor made an “egregious series of departures from the accepted standard of care” that represented a “disgrace to the medical profession — an honorable profession which bears the blot, the scourge, of what happened here.”

“It should be made very clear that experimental medicine is not going to be tolerated,” Pastor said. “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.”

Jackson, 50, died June 25, 2009, from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol while he was in Los Angeles and under Murray’s care preparing for 50 sold-out concerts in London.

Defense attorneys had asked that Murray be sentenced to probation, arguing in court papers that Murray”will forever be stigmatized as the doctor responsible” for Jackson’s death.

“The offense involved the administration of medications which Dr. Murray believed at the time were manageable and safe,” attorneys Edward Chernoff, Nareg Gourjian and J. Michael Flanagan wrote in their filing.

“The death of his patient was unforeseen and was a devastating personal tragedy to Dr. Murray, who was very fond of Mr. Jackson and considered him a close friend as well as a patient. This crime may have been an accident or mistake involving negligence; it clearly was not intended.”

Chernoff argued in court today that the judge should consider “a man’s book of life, as opposed to one chapter.” He said Murray had a history of community service, most notably opening a clinic in a financially depressed area of Houston, Texas.

“Michael Jackson was a drug-seeker and he sought it out from Dr. Murray who was wrong in providing it,” Chernoff said. “… He (Jackson) was a powerful, famous, wealthy individual with lawyers, security and staff and advisers. Maybe he was vulnerable, maybe you agree with the prosecution. But what about before those two months? What about Dr. Murray’s life before those two months before he was convinced … to give Michael Jackson propofol. What about that life?”

Copyright © 2011 CNS

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