Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Boston Watches As The Investigation Of Michael Jackson’s Death Continues And Homicide Is Likely Suspected

I have to confess a personal interest in Michael Jackson. First of all, I think he was immensely talented and, frankly lead a pretty tragic life in many ways. Second, his trial was the lead story when I was a regular contributor on FoxTV’s “Studio B”, as well as other such shows, years ago. By the way, yes, those are some of the clips that appear in the compilation video on my profile in the website. Today, the Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog revisits the Michael Jackson story as it shares a new chapter with the criminal justice system.

Yesterday, Mr. Jackson was laid to rest. However, the criminal justice turmoil that defined a great deal of his later years continues. Now, of course, he is not the “defendant” Now he is the “victim”. No, I am not talking about the manipulation and hypocrisy that so many are exhibiting regarding the claiming of his fame or even the battle over his possessions and children. I am referring to the question of homicide.

You see, drugs have been linked to Mr. Jackson’s death. The questions have been who gave him the drugs, why they gave him the drugs and by what authority they gave him the drugs.

Dr. Arnold Klein, Michael’s longtime doctor has was on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, he told the world that three days before 50-year-old Michael died, he was not in terrible pain. In fact, he “danced in the office. He danced for my patients. He was very muscular and he was very, very happy and dancing.” Dr.Klein says he saw nothing that would make him worry.

Meanwhile, during yesterday’s memorial service, authorities released his death certificate, which did not list a cause of death. The official determination will likely wait until toxicology results are completed, which could be weeks away.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said that Mr. Jackson’s brain, or at least part of it, was still being held by investigators and would be returned to the family for interment once neuropathology tests were completed.

You see, Investigators have honed in on drugs that were administered to Mr. Jackson. The powerful sedative Diprivan, which is usually administered by anesthesiologists in hospitals, was found in his home, according to a law enforcement official. The thought is that this was utilized because Michael had trouble sleeping.

As part of an on-going inquiry, officers from the LAPD’s robbery and homicide division are pouring over every aspect of Mr. Jackson’s medical history which has included the searching of three separate premises of physicians who treated the singer over the years.

There have emerged theories of foul play concerning the pop star’s death. Many claim that that his demise could and should have been avoided.

The case got underway on June 25 – “the day of Jackson’s death, when officers removed prescription drugs from the performer’s home. It intensified four days later, when officers were seen leaving the scene with bags of purported evidence.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “numerous bottles of Diprivan, the powerful sedative, were discovered at the residence.

Reports also indicate that none of the bottles had prescription labels, and investigators are trying to determine how Jackson got the drugs.”

Attorney Sam’s Take:

The possession of otherwise legal drugs is often not legal if a valid prescription for it does not exist. Further, homicide is not simply a crime of actual criminal intent. In fact, the same is true for the crime of Battery.

Sometimes these crimes are prosecuted with the theory that the defendant had no right to touch the victim in the way he/she did, whether it be because of fraud or another reason. Of course, such a touching leading to death can be prosecuted as a homicide.

In this case, the suspicion is that whoever gave Michael the drugs either got them illegally or administered them to him illegally. There have been accusations that it was the dermatologist (skin doctor) who gave them to Michael without having the right to do so. There are also rumors that there were track marks on Michael’s arms, which would indicate the taking of medications with a syringe, which could be illegal in itself if there was no prescription for those needles.

Nobody is alleging an intentional homicide (yet).

However, the eyes of the public are on this investigation. That effects what happens in such investigations and prosecutions. Perhaps, if you or a loved one have ever been caught up in a high profile matter you have experienced that.

“How so?”, you ask.

I answer by telling you to read tomorrow’s weekly Attorney Sam’s Take Blog where we will discuss the effect of the media on criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions.

For the full articles concerning today’s posting of the Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, go to http://www.bostonherald.com/track/celebrity/view/20090708doc_jackson_danced_in_office_days_before_death/srvc=home&position=recent and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/michael-jackson/5765651/Michael-Jacksons-death-police-question-five-doctors.html

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