Michael Jackson’s Doctor, Conrad Murray, Released From Jail After 2 Years

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[From Billboard Magazine, October 28, 2013]  After serving two years of his four-year sentence, Conrad Murray was released from jail Monday, October 28 at 12:01 a.m. Murray was convicted in 2011 of killing Michael Jackson in June 2009. A recent change in California law allowed Murray’s incarceration time to be cut down.

Murray, a former cardiologist, was convicted of causing Jackson’s death by providing him with a powerful anesthetic, propofol, to help him sleep. While Jackson was preparing for a series of comeback concerts, Murray was acting as his primary care physician.

At age 60 Murray’s license to practice medicine is suspended and revoked in three states while his fame comes from his association with Jackson and the public involuntary manslaughter trial.

Currently, he is working to appeal his conviction although the court has questioned whether it needs to hear the case. Valerie Wass, Murray’s attorney, argues that non-dismissal of the case could alter the sentence and reduce some of the stigma his original conviction has caused.

Despite the fact that he didn’t testify during his civil suit or take the stand during his criminal trial, jail did not keep Murray quiet. Recordings of calls have been posted on celebrity website TMZ, and the former doctor told the Today show he “cried tears of joy after a civil jury recently determined that promoters of Jackson’s comeback tour did not negligently hire Murray.”

Murray maintained clinics in Houston and Los Angeles but was able to serve his sentence in a Los Angeles jail as opposed to a state jail. A law aimed to reduce over-crowdedness allows nonviolent criminals local stays.

Wass said earlier this year, “Dr. Murray has not received any special treatment in jail and in fact has many less privileges than most inmates because of his notoriety.”

After Jackson’s mother filed a lawsuit against AEG Live LLC, jurors determined there was no evidence the doctor was unfit to serve as Jackson’s tour doctor earlier this month. The panel said the relationship between Jackson and Murray did not condone the physician’s conduct.

In fact, no doctor or medical expert has condoned propofol as a treatment for sleeping difficulties. Murray told police he gave the singer doses of propofol every night to aide in his sleep but wasn’t properly equipped to monitor the anesthesia.

Propofol is intended for surgical settings only and experts note its effects are not actually sleep.