Conrad Murray, the former doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, has been released from jail after serving two years of a four-year sentence.
Murray, 60, was released from the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles at 12:01am on Monday, avoiding the cameras and Jackson fans arrayed outside.
Jackson died aged 50 in June 2009, from an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol. As the star’s personal physician, Murray had regularly administered the drug as a sleeping aid during rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts. Upon his conviction in 2011, the former cardiologist was sentenced to the maximum four years, but a subsequent change in California law allowed for a shortening of his jail time.
LA sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Murray had been an exemplary inmate, who was separated from the prison’s general population and given regular use of a telephone during his final year of incarceration. Murray’s lawyer, Valerie Wass, said the experience had nonetheless been an ordeal, and asked the press to respect her client’s privacy.
“They didn't release him one minute early,“ Wass told reporters outside the jail on Monday. "I'm just happy he's finally out."
Murray continues to appeal his conviction, and reportedly hopes to practice medicine again in the future. Earlier this month a Los Angeles jury found that the promotional firm AEG Live had not been liable in Jackson’s death, because Murray was considered competent to treat the star. Murray later said he cried tears of joy upon hearing the verdict in the lawsuit.
Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, who brought the lawsuit against AEG, told ABC News that she and her family hoped Murray “can never practise medicine again and will not violate his Hippocratic oath and hurt another patient.”