Michael Jackson dying from a prescription-drug overdose is not what is most disturbing about the circumstances surrounding his passing. It is the fact that the administrator of the drug was dealt a punishment that hardly matches the intensity or prominence of the late performer’s life.
On Nov. 29, Dr. Conrad Murray, Jackson’s personal physician for three years, was given the maximum sentence of four years in prison for manslaughter after administering a lethal amount of various drugs to Jackson.For a number of people, four years imprisonment on the charge of manslaughter does not seem strong enough of a punishment for a crime that resulted in the death of the “King of Pop.”
“Four years is not enough for someone’s life, it won’t bring him back… 100 years won’t be enough,” Katherine and Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother and sibling respectively, told KTLA reporters.
As it turns out, Murray might only serve a fraction of his prison sentence, mainly due to the overcrowding that has plagued Los Angeles County prisons, according to published reports.
With all this information, Jackson’s fans, interested lawyers or even just casual observers of popular culture have to wonder if Murray’s sentencing was worth the time, effort and money used to prosecute him.
It is a sad thought, but the prison sentence will not suddenly resuscitate Jackson. Murray’s sentencing has actually made the public more aware of Jackson’s impact on the world. This is not to say that there should not be any punishment for Murray.
According to evidence from the trial, Murray showed extreme medical negligence when he administered CPR to Jackson on a bed, which would only absorb the energy meant to be given to Jackson. Additionally, Murray’s interview with NBC, as well as his past financial troubles, paints him as a questionable man who shirks his responsibilities.
By all means, Murray should definitely be given the maximum sentence for this case based on the principles of the justice system.
However, with all the good that Murray has done (opening and working at various health institutes), it will be overshadowed by his time with Michael Jackson. Eventually, Murray may almost become an afterthought, a tragic element in the life of one of the world’s most iconic celebrities.