Conrad Murray sentenced to four years behind bars
LOS ANGELES (AP) - The doctor convicted in the overdose death of Michael Jackson was sentenced to the maximum four years behind bars Tuesday by a judge who denounced him as a reckless physician whose actions were a "disgrace to the medical profession."
Dr. Conrad Murray sat stoically with his hands crossed as Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor repeatedly chastised him for what he called a "horrific violation of trust" while caring for Jackson.
The judge was relentless in his bashing of Murray, saying he lied repeatedly and had not shown remorse for his actions in the treatment of Jackson.
"Dr. Murray created a set of circumstances and became involved in a cycle of horrible medicine," the judge said.
He called the heavy use of propofol "medicine madness, which violated his sworn obligation, for money, fame, prestige and whatever else may have occurred."
Pastor said one of the most disturbing aspects of Murray's case was a slurred recording of Jackson recovered from the doctor's cell phone.
"That tape recording was Dr. Murray's insurance policy," Pastor said. "It was designed to record his patient surreptitiously at that patient's most vulnerable point."
Jail overcrowding could result in the four-year sentence being at least in half.
Michael Jackson's family told Pastor they were not seeking revenge but wanted the doctor who killed the superstar to receive a stiff sentence that served as a warning to opportunistic doctors.
"The Bible reminds us that men cannot do justice, they can only seek justice," the family said in a statement read by attorney Brian Panish. "That is all we can ask as a family, and that is all we ask for here."
The statement went on to say, "We are not here to seek revenge. There is nothing you can do today that will bring Michael back."
It included elements from Jackson's parents, siblings and his three children.
"As his brothers and sisters, we will never be able to hold, laugh or perform again with our brother Michael," the statement said. "And as his children, we will grow up without a father, our best friend, our playmate and our dad."
The family told The Associated Press after the sentencing that they were pleased with the results.
"We're going to be a family. We're going to move forward. We're going to tour, play the music and miss him," brother Jermaine Jackson said.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a six-week trial that presented the most detailed account yet of Jackson's final hours but left many questions about Murray's treatment of the superstar with an operating-room anesthetic as he battled chronic insomnia.
Before sentencing, lead defense attorney Ed Chernoff highlighted the accomplishments of Murray.
"I do wonder though to what extent the court considers the entirety of a man's book of life, as opposed to one chapter," he told the judge.
Chernoff again attacked Michael Jackson, as he and his team frequently did during the doctor's trial.
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