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.

MICHAEL JACKSON’S DOCTOR IS FOUND GUILTY OF HOMICIDE BY JURY

As you may recall, this Boston criminal lawyer has been linked to the late, famed and, frankly, supremely talented Michael Jackson. As one can see on the website’s profile, I was a regular commentator on the Fox News Channel during his trial for sexual assaults against children a number of years ago. Then, upon his untimely death, I was again sought after by various television, radio and print media to discuss the tragedy.

And now, the saga has entered its final stages and the same government which once accused him of being a sexual predator has now renamed him “victim” and charged his doctor with his homicide.

Unlike when Jackson was a defendant, this time the state was successful in its prosecution.

Conrad Murray, M.D., has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He now remains in custody as he awaits sentencing.

The state’s theory, supported by a variety of lay and expert witnesses, as well as eye-opening communications and tapes, was that Murray, Jackson’s personal physician, engaged in several medical missteps that led directly to the King of Pop’s death as a result of a drug overdose.

The 58 year old cardiologist faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a minimum sentence of probation when he returns to court on later this month. The doctor, who has already had his medical license suspended by California authorities, will likely be prohibited from practicing medicine.

As you may recall, I was somewhat surprised when it came out that the good doctor ‘s legal team might suggest that Jackson committed suicide. You can read that posting, by the way here As you may recall, at the time of his death, Jackson was making a comeback, had spent a great deal of time enjoying his children and was putting together a huge concert which was being recorded and ended up released as a major motion picture. If he had weathered the turmoil of his days as a criminal defendant without an attempt at suicide, it was difficult to imagine that this would have been the time he would have done so. However, sure enough, the defense lawyers did not agree with my outlook. They attempted to persuade the court that Michael Jackson died by his own hand. Unfortunately for the defense, there was scant, if any, evidence of that.

The defense also failed to provide evidence to justify why Dr. Murray left Jackson alone after administering the powerful surgical anesthetic propofol. Also, during the trial, audio recordings were made of Jackson muttering his plans and concerns about the upcoming show.

The voice does not instill confidence that this was a man who should be making his own medical decisions.

However, Dr. Murray let him do so…no matter the danger.

In the end, Jackson stopped breathing and, according to the evidence, Dr. Murray failed to contact emergency services. Further, the witnesses brought into the trial repeatedly told the jury that a number of statements that Murray made in an interview with police that took place two days after Jackson’s death were sufficient to prove the doctor’s guilt. Finally, witnesses even added that Murray had lied about the amount of propofol which he gave Jackson saying that the only way the singer could have had the amount of the drug in his system that was discovered by an autopsy was that Murray left a drip running after Michael had died.

Attorney Sam’s Take On Criminal Negligence And Homicide

As we have discussed many times on this blog, the rules of the blame game have changed.

Long ago, we had things like “simple accidents”. These went out of fashion because, with nobody to blame, they were not very fulfilling.

So we went on to solving this problem by bringing these “simple” accidents to court. Civil court. There, we could still admit that they were accidents, but it could at least be someone’s fault.

This made us feel better for a time. Finally, that faded too.

Now, more and more of these matters are treated as crimes. In this case, nobody seriously feels that Dr. Murray wanted Michael Jackson to die. Far from it. Michael was what is known as a “gold mine” for the good doctor and many like him.

All one had to do was practice your expertise the way Michael wanted you to and you were golden.

The stories are many of folks who lived and/or worked around Michael who will tell you that Michael had a way of being insistent about what he wanted. Almost child-like, which really comes as no surprise given his history.

But, here is the problem. Once you accept the responsibility of performing your professional work, such as in the case of a doctor, you have a certain responsibility. Michael may come home one evening and tell you that he thinks he will have better sleep if you smack him on his head with a sledgehammer. Guess what? Not only do you not have to do that…you should not do that. You have to practice your own professional judgment. Far from medical treatment, that would be assault with a deadly weapon.

I hope I will not offend too many people if I suggest that Michael was not the most stable of individuals. Certainly, he was not a medical expert. Therefore, the fact that “Michael told me to” is really not much of a defense. Of course, you can go the suicide route…but we see how well that worked.

“But, Sam, should this really be in criminal court?”

Well, it certainly belongs in some court in my opinion. I am sure there will be civil lawsuits and the doctor has already lost his license. The criminal law does allow for the theory for criminally negligent homicide, or, in this case, involuntary manslaughter.

Does this case fit? Well, that has been decided by the expert on the facts in this case…the jury.

They say “Yes“.

To view the article upon which this blog is based, please go to http://thisbeatgoes.com/hip-hop-news/michael-jacksons-doctor-conrad-murray-found-guilty/

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