Conrad Murray jailed for four years


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The Independent US

Michael Jackson's former doctor has been jailed for four years, three weeks after being found guilty of killing the pop star.

Prosecutors who depicted Conrad Murray, 58, as remorseless for the superstar's death urged the judge to sentence him to four years in prison, while a defence lawyer said Murray was in a prison of self-punishment and should receive probation.

Murray has been in jail since he was convicted on November 7 of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's fatal overdose of the anaesthetic propofol.

Prosecutors said Murray has shown no remorse for Jackson's death and has placed blame on others, including Jackson himself.

They submitted a series of post-trial media interviews with Murray on a DVD.

In one excerpt, Murray states, "I don't feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong."

Defence lawyer Nareg Gourjian, citing letters of praise from Murray's former patients, said: "There is no question that the death of his patient, Mr Jackson, was unintentional and an enormous tragedy for everyone affected. Dr. Murray has been described as a changed, grief-stricken man, who walks around under a pall of sadness since the loss of his patient, Mr. Jackson."

Mr Gourjian said Murray will never stop punishing himself over Jackson's loss and, "In effect, he will be serving a form of life sentence. However, the offence was not wilful nor intended. ... He is, by every account, immensely sorrowful and remorseful."

Murray was convicted after six weeks of evidence focusing on his administration of propofol. While Jackson was under the influence of the drug,Murray admitted leaving the room, prosecutors noted. They said he abandoned his patient when he was the most vulnerable.

Mr Gourjian noted that because of constant death threats, Murray must be kept in solitary confinement, which is expensive.

Prosecutors included a claim of 100 million dollars in losses because of Jackson's death and suggested that "appropriate restitution" from Murray be ordered for Jackson's children.

Brian Parish, a lawyer for Michael Jackson's family, told the judge that the family was not seeking revenge.

However he said family members wanted a stiff sentence that served as a warning to opportunistic doctors.