Despite calls for leniency from a group of South Los Angeles clergy and activists, Michael Jackson’s personal physician was sentenced to four years behind bars for the singer’s June 2009 death from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. During sentencing, the judge blasted the doctor for engaging in a “money-for-medicine” experiment that killed the entertainer.
Conrad Murray, 58, was convicted Nov. 7 of involuntary manslaughter.
Despite the four-year sentence, the exact amount of time the cardiologist 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 died June 25, 2009 at age 50 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.