Weeks after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, Dr. Conrad Murray had his sentencing today.
Murray is set to serve a maximum of four years in prison, but because of the new California law, non-violent felons serve their time in county jail. Judge Michael Pastor denied Dr. Murray probation and gave him the maximum sentence, saying he has "absolutely no sense of remorse...and is, and remains, dangerous."
Before the sentencing, the judge allowed a statement to be read from the family. Brian Panish, an attorney and friend of the Jackson family, represented them by reading their message to the court:
"I am the attorney and friend of the Jackson family. There's no way to adequately describe the lost of our son, brother and friend and father. We still look at each other in disbelief. Is it really possible he's gone? As his parents…it is simply against the natural order of things. As his brothers and sisters we will never be able to perform, laugh with Michael."
The family then asked the judge to give Murray a sentence that "reminds physicians they cannot sell their services to the highest bidder. As we all know from this tragedy, doing so can have fatal results."
From there, the prosecution made their statement, with David Walgren asserting:
"This is not a crime involving mistake of judgment, this is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. I think that eloquently sums of nature and seriousness of the crime."
Walgren also described Murray's behavior reckless and obscene.
"At the point where Dr. Murray knew his actions caused the death of Michael Jackson, he didn’t, as one would hope a doctor would do, immediately begin to cure the situation…he looked out for himself." He added that upon finding out her father was dead, "His daughter Paris was crying, stating, 'I want to go with you,' referring to her dad."
The defense then made their statement. Murray's defense attorney, Ed Chernoff, was brief. He mostly asked that "the court considers the entirety of a man's book of life as opposed to just one chapter. The month that Conrad Murray was treating Michael Jackson, he shouldn't have done it."
Chernoff then asked the court to consider Murray's life before he met Michael Jackson.
"What about before Michael Jackson asked for Propofol? What about that? He spent fifty-six years…he never committed a crime…he raised a family."
He also told Dr. Murray's sad back story:
"If we're going to start with four years of prosecution, does any of that matter? For 58 years, Dr. Murray, he was born in Grenada. Illegitimate mother. He didn’t know his dad. They weren't just poor, they were literally dirt poor…but he took that impossible situation…he made his way to the United States, a poor unsupported Black man from the Caribbean. He put himself through college, three years Magna Cum Lade. Put himself through medical school. University of Arizona after that. Does any of that matter that that's exactly what we want our neighbors and citizens to aspire to? Does any of that matter to the court at all?"
After hearing both sides, Judge Pastor then made his sentencing, saying:
"The court declines to grant probation in this case…he unquestionable violated the trust and confidence of his patient, Michael Jackson, on a repeated nightly basis." He then sentenced the doctor to the maximum four years.