Sentencing Conrad Murray

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Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of superstar, entertainer Michael Jackson. With the verdict, the jury brought some level of closure to an event that stunned the world.

But the saga is not over yet. Murray’s sentencing hearing begins Nov. 29. He could receive anything from probation to up to four years in prison for his actions. Many factors will go into Murray’s sentencing.

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The prosecution will point out his refusal to take responsibility for his role in Jackson’s death and the emotional impact the crime has had on Michael’s family in an attempt to secure a longer sentence. Murray’s defense team will point to the absence of a criminal history and may argue that the doctor was pressured by Jackson to provide the deadly treatments.

Though it may be unthinkable, it is possible that Murray may not see any prison time. California District Attorney Steve Cooley said that it would be difficult to appropriately sentence because of overcrowding in California’s prisons. Even if Murray does get jail time, a new California sentencing law that seeks to reduce overcrowding in prisons will ultimately affect if he serves that time. If sentenced to prison, Murray would most likely serve his time in county jail. That same overcrowding could also result in Murray being sentenced to house arrest.

As a doctor, Murray knew that what he was doing was unethical and was not in the best interest of the patient. By handing down the stiffest sentence possible, the judge would be demonstrating that it recognizes the long term effect Murray’s behavior will have on Jackson’s parents, siblings and, most importantly, his children.

(What should Murray’s sentence be? Share your responses with @judgegregmathis on Twitter or comment on the official JudgeGregMathis Facebook page.)

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