KIRSTI BUICK

The trial of the doctor accused of involuntary manslaughter following Michael Jackson’s death has received extensive coverage in the media world wide, with viewers afforded full televised coverage on most major news channels. The trial has been incorrectly dubbed “The Jackson Trial”, eerily reminiscent of the real Jackson Trial six years ago, when the troubled star was accused of molesting then 13-year-old, Gavin Arvizo. In this case, however, the accused is 58-year-old cardiologist, Conrad Murray. Jackson hired Murray as his personal physician in 2009 on the cusp of his ill-fated “This Is It” Tour. Jackson allegedly paid the doctor an astonishing $150 000 per month. At this point, Jackson suffered from severe insomnia, and relied heavily on a cocktail of drugs, which he called his “milk” or “liquid sleep”, to help him rest. Jackson’s supposed favourite among these was Propofol, an anaesthetic. Cherilyn Lee, a nurse and nutritionist who worked for Jackson, told ABC News that the singer begged her to buy more of the drug for him. She refused, telling him, “The problem with you telling me you want to be knocked out is that you might not wake up the next morning. You don’t want that.” Lee’s statement was tragically prophetic on 28 August 2009, over two months after the singer’s death. The LA County Coroner stated that Jackson died from the combination of drugs in his body, most significantly, Propofol and the sedative, Lorazepam. Murray is accused of giving Jackson the drugs, and hence, involuntary manslaughter. The prosecutors in the case, David Walgren and Deborah Brazil, told the jury in their opening argument that “misplaced trust in the hands of Conrad Murray cost Michael Jackson his life”. Murray’s defence counsel countered this by claiming that Jackson “self-administered a dose of Propofolthat, with the Lorazepam, created a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly.” Ed Chernoff, one of Murray’s attorneys, claimed that the drugs killed Jackson so quickly, that “he didn’t even have time to close his eyes”. There is speculation surrounding whether or notJackson’s eldest children, Prince and Paris, may testify. According to reports, Prince is particularly keen to do so. Prince’s report will allegedly directly contradictMurray’s account of the events surroundingJackson’s death, and may directly lead toMurray’s conviction.

At the time of going to print, Dr Christopher Rogers, who was responsible forJackson’s autopsy, had recently testified, presenting evidence seen as damning toMurray’s case.Rogerssaid thatMurrayhad no precision dosing device available to him, and it is therefore highly likely thatMurrayoverdosedJacksonin incorrectly estimating how much propofol to give the singer to counter his insominia.Rogerssaid that asJacksonwould have been under the influence of a variety of sedatives, it was unlikey that he administered the proponol himself.

During the trial, a recording of a conversation between Murray and Jackson, which took place just a month beforeJackson’s death, was played. The recording featuredJackson, in almost incomprehensible speech, talking about healing the world and helping children because he didn’t have a childhood. At the end of the recording,Murrayasked his patient, “Are you okay?”Jacksonreplied “I am asleep.”

Image: www.musictitans.com

 

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