Conrad Murray’s Release From Prison, Fans’ Boycotts and The Choices We Make
There is only one subject on everyone’s minds now and it is the release of Conrad Murray’s release from jail today.
The news has already been reported by the press:
Michael Jackson doctor released from prison
Published October 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES – Conrad Murray, the former doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death, has been released from prison.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to Fox News that Murray was released from a downtown Los Angeles jail at 12:01 a.m. local time Monday.
The former cardiologist served less than two years of a four-year sentence after being convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter for Jackson’s June 2009 death. The pop superstar died after receiving a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol, which Murray was giving Jackson as a sleep aid.
Murray’s medical licenses remain suspended or revoked in three states where he previously practiced medicine.
A change in California law allowed Murray’s incarceration time to be significantly cut down. In an attempt to ease the problem of overcrowded state prisons, Murray served his sentence in a county jail instead of a state penitentiary. His sentenced was reduced by half due to good behavior and Murray was also credited with time served for weeks he had spent in prison prior to his trial.
The former doctor is appealing his conviction, although an appeals court has questioned whether it needs to hear the case. His attorney Valerie Wass has argued that the court should not dismiss the appeal because it could alter his overall sentence and reduce some of the stigma his conviction has caused.
Despite being jailed, Murray has not been entirely silent. Audio recordings of his calls have been posted on celebrity website TMZ and the ex-doctor told the Today show that he cried tears of joy after a civil jury recently determined that the promoters of Jackson’s comeback shows did not negligently hire Murray.
He did not, however, testify in the civil case or take the stand during his criminal trial.
Murray previously maintained clinics in Houston and Las Vegas and frequently complained about conditions in jail after his conviction. He was allowed to serve his entire sentence in a Los Angeles jail rather than a state prison due to a law aimed at easing overcrowding by shifting nonviolent offenders to local lockups.
“Dr. Murray has not received any special treatment in jail and in fact has many less privileges than most inmates because of his notoriety,” Wass said in a statement earlier this year. She said he “is very much looking forward to his release and getting on with his life. However, the fact of his incarceration is increasingly difficult for him.”
Jurors in a lawsuit filed by Jackson’s mother against concert giant AEG Live LLC determined that the doctor was not unfit or incompetent to serve as Jackson’s tour doctor earlier this month. The panel heard testimony about Jackson and Murray’s relationship throughout the five-month trial, but the panel said it did not condone the physician’s conduct.
“That doesn’t mean we felt he was ethical,” jury foreman Gregg Barden said of Murray after the AEG Live verdict.
No doctor or medical expert has condoned Murray’s treatments of Jackson during either the ex-doctor’s criminal case or the civil litigation. The former cardiologist told police he gave the superstar nightly doses of propofol to help him sleep but lacked the proper medical or monitoring equipment that’s required to administer anesthesia.
Although widely used, propofol is intended only for surgical settings and experts have noted that its effects are not actually sleep.
AN HONEST APPROACH
Recently I was asked what I think of the boycotts calling on the media not to give Conrad Murray a platform to speak for money and profit from his gross negligence towards Michael.
After a long thought over this question I’ve come to a very unusual conclusion and as it is my custom will be quite frank about it.
I don’t support those media outlets that will pay money to Conrad Murray for spreading predictable lies about the ‘good guy’ Murray and the ‘bad guy’ MJ, but will very much count on honest journalists to use the opportunity given to them by the free press to grill Murray and ask him inconvenient questions he is not expecting to face.
For example, Aphrodite Jones could grill Murray about everything he wasn’t grilled about during the past two trials where he chose to keep total silence, or Beth Karas could put Murray and Thomas Mesereau together in a series of rounds that will surely be an enjoyable sight for every Michael Jackson fan and supporter.
And it is with some surprise, shock and even shame to myself that I also realized that I wouldn’t even mind if Murray was paid for this fight as for free he will probably never agree to it.
I am very sorry for disappointing you by this frank admission, but if they pay him for a harsh interview I can perfectly live with it as long as the program opens his eyes to the deep wrong he did and brings us new facts and truthful revelations from the discussion that ensues.
But if they pay Murray money for making him extremely comfortable in the studio and letting him spread habitual lies about Michael and will leave these lies unchallenged, this is absolutely not the kind of journalism I have in mind because it will be like buying some unproven dirt from a pleased seller who will be so satisfied with the deal that it will encourage him to spit and sell even more.
No, there is a big difference between the two – one is an easy offer to a liar to tell the lies they expect to hear of him and the other is a tough talk aiming at learning the truth where the person has to answer inconvenient questions which he would otherwise prefer to avoid.
And when I ask myself what I would really like to come of it , the answer is a big contest of truth versus lies between an honest and tough journalist and this cunning creature that avoids answering unpleasant questions but for the promise of a paid interview will probably agree to a round on a boxing arena.
I am terribly sorry again if I shocked you by this practical approach – I am probably inspired by one of our old comedies where a young and inexperienced working-class guy put in charge of the customs on a far away border had to buy business advice from his jailed bureaucrat predecessor by pushing banknotes into his cell. The enemies benefitted from each other as one acquired knowledge while the other built up some income for himself.
A joke, guys….
But despite all jokes and my wild dreams about a contestant and truth-seeking media I would still like to encourage the press to be honest and make the right choices when it comes to a convicted felon like Conrad Murray who spent in jail only two years out of four for actually killing Michael Jackson through his incredible, outrageous and unconscionable negligence and was released earlier simply because of prisons being overcrowded at the moment.
If I were to appeal to the press I would call on them to do what their journalistic integrity tells them to do, and if their interviews with Murray cannot be avoided due to a tough competition on the information market I urge them to make their meetings with this guy not as plain sailing as he expects them to be.
And I would also like to make a special note in my appeal that depending on their choice we as their consumers will make our choice too. And it is we who will decide whether their programs are worth watching, and whether their sponsors have made a wise investment by approaching their TV channel, their newspaper and this particular journalist.
By “we” I mean a big international jury of Michael Jackson’s fans, advocates and supporters who will now look at the media and decide which of them are credible and worthy of trust, and who are mere nobodies selling themselves for someone else’s evil agenda and who should be thrown into fire as unnecessary trash.
In short all of it is about the choice again – theirs, ours and that of the general public.
BOYCOTTS TO CHOOSE FROM
Various groups of Michael’s supporters suggest boycotting the media if it allows a guy like Murray to profit by making false speculations about Michael Jackson and his death.
The press-release from TeamMichaelJackson suggests a whole program of action from signing a petition against Murray’s media deals to sending letters to the Medical boards to suspend Murray’s licences in case they have not been suspended there yet.
TeamMJ is our sister-in-arms in a fight against one ruthless corporation that ground Michael down to his death, so I’ve readily joined their campaign. The picture they’ve prepared for the occasion fully reflects the sad essence of Conrad Murray’s nature – this person has already proven by his behavior that he is capable of anything for the sake of money.
This impressive poster from TeamMJ is followed by their Press Release which I fully reproduce here:
PRESS RELEASE: – Michael Jackson Advocates against Conrad Murray
Posted on October 27, 2013
October 27, 2013
TITLE OF PRESS RELEASE: Team Michael Jackson Continues Campaign to Boycott any and all News Media Outlets and their Sponsors who offer and/or pay Conrad Murray “Blood Money” to tell his “story” of the Homicide of Michael Joseph Jackson
Los Angeles, CA – Boycott All Conrad Murray Media Deals
Team Michael Jackson (www.teammichaeljackson.com) is continuing the Project to Boycott any and all News Media Outlets and their sponsors who offer to and/or pay Conrad Murray Money after his release from Jail on Monday, October 28, 2013, to tell his story of the Homicide of Michael Joseph Jackson. This includes, but is not limited to, the following Media Outlets: Television Stations, Radio Stations, Newspapers, Books, Movies, Magazines, Tabloids, etc.
This “Boycott Conrad Murray Media Deals” Campaign represents the support of Michael’s millions of Loving Fans around the World and will clearly demonstrate the WORLDWIDE L.O.V.E., SUPPORT AND DEMAND FOR JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL JOSEPH JACKSON!
It has already been reported that Conrad Murray is “shopping” to tell his Story and WE WILL NOT support Conrad Murray, News Media Outlets, or their sponsors making money off of the Death of Michael Jackson.
It is NOT the time (and is not acceptable) to report negative or untrue information about Michael Jackson and it will not be tolerated. Michael is DEAD and is not here to defend himself.
We have noticed that certain news media are already reporting false information leading up to the release of Conrad Murray, currently scheduled for Monday, October 28, 2013.
Team Michael Jackson represents the WORLDWIDE L.O.V.E. and SUPPORT of Michael’s millions of Loving Fans around the World! We will vigorously defend any nonfactual, inaccurate, dishonest, and untruthful information being spread about Michael Jackson and will also Boycott any Media Outlets, as well as their sponsors who are reporting any nonfactual, inaccurate, dishonest, and untruthful information about Michael Jackson!!
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH! It is NOT Wacko Jacko, It is MICHAEL JACKSON! It is NOT Pedophile, It is Humanitarian! It is NOT Guilty, It is Innocent! It is NOT Bleach, it is Vitiligo! It is NOT Addiction, it is Injury! It is NOT a Freak, it is Emotional Abuse! It is NOT Suicide, it is Homicide! PLEASE LEAVE HIM ALONE!
THIS IS THE TIME – WE WILL BE MICHAEL’S VOICE AND LET THE ENTIRE WORLD KNOW WE DEMAND JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL JOSEPH JACKSON FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
This Media Release is respectfully submitted to you from: “TEAM MICHAEL JACKSON.”
PETITION TO BOYCOTT CONRAD MURRAY MEDIA DEALS! – NO PROFIT FOR CONRAD MURRAY
PLEASE SIGN PETITION AND SHARE! NO PROFIT FOR CONRAD MURRAY!
Team Michael Jackson requests you SIGN PETITION if you Pledge to Boycott any and all Media Outlets and their sponsors that offer and/or pay Conrad Murray $$ Money $$ to tell his “story” of the Homicide of Michael Joseph Jackson!
SIGN PETITION AT: http://chn.ge/1a97YIl
We boycott and will abstain from using, buying, viewing, or dealing with any company/organization and all of their sponsors.
Help us to send the message to television networks, radio stations, newspapers, book publishers, movie/show producers, tabloids, magazines, etc. that seek out and help Conrad Murray to profit from the Homicide of Michael Joseph Jackson!
PLEASE SPREAD ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND ALL SOCIAL MEDIA SITES!!!
We also advise fans to contact media in the country they reside in. Joining a Facebook group is not going to get the results we envision. We need to make noise via any/ALL media outlet.
Conrad Robert Murray possessed four (4) State Medical Licenses when he committed the Homicide of Michael Joseph Jackson on June 25, 2009: (1) California; (2) Texas; (3) Nevada; and (4) Hawaii.
California filed Court Papers to Revoke Conrad Murray License on June 27, 2012, and Texas Revoked Conrad Murray License in August 30, 2013.
As of today, October 27, 2013, the States of Nevada and Hawaii have only “Suspended” Conrad Murray Medical Licenses and (as we understand) he merely need reapply for those Medical Licenses to be reestablished.
In honor of the Memory of Michael Joseph Jackson and so that no other person has to suffer a “Death Sentence” like Michael Jackson did, we have to take the action to notify the Nevada and Hawaii Medical Boards and demand they immediately “REVOKE” Conrad Murray’s Medical Licenses.
Below are two (2) Separate letters to the Nevada and Hawaii Medical Boards. Please copy and paste Letter #1 and Fax to the Nevada Medical Board and Copy and Paste Letter #2 and Email to the Hawaii Medical Board, as noted. All directions are identified below.
Thank you for taking the time to support this very important effort!
On their website TeamMichael Jackson provides two sample letters to the medical boards, ready to be downloaded, but I think that in respect of Murray’s medical licences and the prospect of him never regaining them we are more or less safe. The reason for that is that the Los Angeles District Attorneys have promised to see to it that Conrad Murray never regains his medical licence either in the US or anywhere in the world – which is the news we can only applaud to:
Los Angeles District Attorney Moves To Block MJ Death Doc’s Bid To Regain Medical License
Posted on Oct 17, 2013 @ 3:56AM | By radarstaff
The Michael Jackson wrongful death lawsuit is over, but the fall-out for MJ’s death doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, is just beginning. Although Murray has reportedly set his sights on practicing medicine again once he is released from jail on October 28, an insider tells RadarOnline.com that the L.A. District Attorney’s office will do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“The L.A.CountyD.A.’s office will be closely monitoring Murrayonce he is released from jail,” an insider tells RadarOnline.com. “If he tries to get a medical license in the U.S. or anywhere around the world, the D.A. will make sure the appropriate officials are aware that he was convicted of killing someone because he used propofol in a house.”
The source continues, “He is a danger to any potential patients because he lacks proper judgment skills.”
Murray was sentenced to four years in prison back in 2011after he was found guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Jackson.
Automatic credit for good behavior lowered his actual time served to two years. Despite that verdict, Murray reportedly feels vindicated because the wrongful death trial verdict found Murray to be a reasonably competent caregiver for Jackson, and that AEG was therefore sufficiently prudent in hiring him.
Jermaine and Randy Jackson are pressuring their mother Katherine to appeal the decision, as RadarOnline.com has reported.
OTHER BOYCOTTS TO CHOOSE FROM
Several days ago I was told about another boycott started by another group of fans. The information about it was placed by the admins of MJJCommunity:
Michael Jackson Fans United – Tired of Injustice – No Profit for Conrad Murray
We are a group of very concerned Michael Jackson fans. We are uniting out of our respect for Michael Jackson and his legacy. He was a global superstar and while he should be remembered for his artistry, he should also be remembered for his humanitarianism. Of equal importance was his love for his own children and his loyal fans. These are the things an individual like Michael Jackson should be remembered for… not the tragic manner in which he was taken from us.
The man responsible for taking Michael away from his children, family, and fans, Conrad Murray is scheduled to be released from jail in a matter of days. Murray is now a convicted felon, who was put in handcuffs and taken to jail moments after his manslaughter conviction. Michael Jackson’s fans from all over the globe are steadfast in our belief that Conrad Murray should not be allowed to profit from his criminal negligence, which resulted in the death of another human being. A human being beloved by millions all over the world.
We are reaching out to all media outlets, broadcasters, public relations organizations, and publishers, in an attempt to encourage them not to give Murray a platform to profit or exploit the life and/or death of Michael Jackson. Murray has shown absolutely no remorse for his crime and accepts no responsibility for his egregious actions and negligence. Instead, he continues to re-victimize Michael Jackson and his children. Murray continues through his agents and through jail house interviews to shift the blame post-conviction to his victim. In a reckless and thoughtless act, Murray released a taped message to Michael’s daughter, Paris. In this act he has demonstrated his selfishness and heartlessness towards the very child he left orphaned by his criminality.
We are determined to hold any organizations accountable for any/and all partnerships with Murray. If necessary, we will reach out to advertisers, sponsors and community organizations, to prevent Murray from profiting. Murray should not be given any platforms to spread ‘his truth’ especially since he refused to tell ‘his truth’ under oath. Our fight for justice for a just man such as Michael knows no limits. We believe that all media outlets should respect the fact that Michael Jackson is no longer here to defend himself against any allegations, and let this man, who millions love and continue to mourn, finally rest in peace.
Facebook: Boycott Conrad Murray Campaign
Any of us is free to join one, two or both of these boycotts if we support their cause. These fans must have made their appeal in the best of faith too and it is not their fault that it was supported by the admins of a forum whose company makes me feel somewhat uncomfortable after certain events that took place after the AEG trial.
It is indeed strange to see support for Murray’s boycott from someone who only recently provided a certain juror #27 with every opportunity to describe Conrad Murray as a fit and competent doctor and who didn’t even allow to properly challenge this person due to a thorough filtering of questions at their Q&A session with no chance for a free discussion there.
In fact what they did for this highly dubious juror #27 is the same as some media outlets may do for Conrad Murray now – allow him prepare for the Q&A session by letting him know the questions in advance, support him by leading questions from some people and shield him from the inconvenient questions from others and creating for him a most welcome atmosphere instead of facing him with challenging questions and giving him a really tough talk.
And mind you that all this was done for juror #27 on a totally free basis, so sometimes even the money is not that really important – it is the journalistic and human integrity which is.
THE MESS WITH CONRAD MURRAY’S STATUS NOW
Unfortunately more than a half of the MJ community hailed the jury’s verdict at the AEG trial though it was due to this jury’s decision that Murray’s criminal status turned into a vague mess which must be totally unclear to the general public now.
The mess started when the jurors at the AEG trial closed their eyes to Murray’s crime and said that for the job he was hired he was competent and fit, leaving us wondering how it could it be possible that the job of a general practitioner may be to take his client to his grave?
Then the mess was further aggravated by juror #27 who explained that at the moment Murray was hired (by AEG) he was still a fine doctor. No one bothered to tell us when the moment of hiring was, same as no one explained why they jury looked into the time of hiring at all – they were simply not supposed to as it was nowhere in the jury instructions.
But all of it is inconsequential as Conrad Murray likes saying, and the only matter of real consequence is that AEG was unaware of Murray’s incompetence and this is all we are supposed to know about it now.
The case will probably go to the appellate court and if the verdict is reversed the opposing sides will have to return to where they were before (see the California CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE SECTION 906-909 for the rules governing such cases: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=ccp&group=00001-01000&file=901-914 ).
However for the moment peace and love have settled between the community and jurors who exonerated AEG of its guilt by calling Murray competent and fit, and now all of them are throwing a look of disgust at Murray again, with the only difference this time that now they say that initially the guy was good and only then he turned bad.
And when did Murray turn bad? Judging by the decision of the jury – at the time when he started working for AEG.
But AEG are the good guys too as juror #27 and fans keep tirelessly explaining to us, so the tragedy happened due to whom? Who is there to blame for what happened to Michael Jackson? Well, after all of them are out it seems like Michael Jackson is the only one left there…
See how this totally outrageous conclusion becomes inevitable as soon as some fans take out the key figures out of the equation by absolving AEG of their guilt and agreeing with Juror #27 that Murray was ‘fit and competent’ until after he was hired by AEG and eventually killed Michael Jackson?
And after all that they support the fans’ intitiative to boycott Conrad Murray and say that they are tired of the injustice? Well, they are probably sincerely enraged, only their approach to the matter is so complicated, intricate and many-faceted that I give up trying to understand the complexity of their feelings.
JUROR #5 EXPLAINS IT ALL
At a time of so much vagueness around the figure of Conrad Murray it will be refreshing to hear what another juror has to say about this doctor.
It is juror#5 who spoke for the jury at Murray’s criminal trial after they returned a guilty verdict in November 2011. The interview of this sensible woman has long been there on Youtube and I cannot believe that we haven’t listened to it up till now.
What juror #5 has to say about Conrad Murray is based on good and clear common sense and a highly responsible and solid approach to the process of weighing up evidence and making decisions. Actually her words make a decided difference from the confusion and vagueness of the jury’s explanations in the AEG case:
Juror 5 speaks out
Some of Debbie Franklin’s interview has been reported in this article:
Juror #5 in the Conrad Murray Trial Speaks Out
Debbie Franklin, a 48-year-old mother of two from Temple City, Calif., was the juror who, on November 7, rung the buzzer three times in the Los Angeles courtroom where Dr. Conrad Murray had sat on trial for the past six weeks to alert the judge and the world that a verdict had been reached.
“Our hearts were pounding to go out there,” Franklin told “Good Morning America,” of the moment she and the other jurors emerged from eight hours of deliberations to issue a guilty verdict for Murray that could send him to prison for up to four years.
The jury convicted Murray of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of the King of Pop. Prosecutors alleged that Murray supplied an insomnia-plagued Jackson with the surgical anesthetic propofol to help him sleep as he rehearsed for his “This Is It” comeback tour.
Franklin says she and the other jurors believe Jackson, who was 50, would “absolutely” be alive today if not for Murray.
“Conrad Murray agreed to be the one to go into the bedroom and do this,” she said. “[Jackson] was looking for somebody to say yes, and Conrad Murray said yes.”
Prosecutors portrayed Murray, 58, as a negligent doctor who recklessly administered propofol at home in Jackson’s bedroom without the necessary safeguards and care when things went wrong.
“I thought they did an excellent job,” Franklin said of the prosecution. “They were ready for every witness. The questioning went from beginning to end. Nothing seemed to sidetrack them.”
Franklin says there were three factors presented in the trial that led the jury to a guilty verdict for Murray.
“The three biggest things for us were [...] not calling 911. That was a big issue, and not having the medical equipment in the room to put somebody under sedation, and leaving the room,” she said.
“Even if Michael Jackson injected himself, which I don’t think we believed, but, we felt, even if he did, that wouldn’t have mattered because Conrad Murray brought the situation there,” Franklin explained. “He was the doctor. He was in charge.”
Jackson’s behavior was barely a consideration, despite the fact that Franklin believes “he had a lot of issues” and a “dependence” on medications.
But the defense’s various theories were not enough to sway Franklin, or the other jurors.
“I really think they didn’t have a lot to work with,” she said of Murray’s defense team. “They tried to do what they could with what they had.”
Although the jury came to a verdict fairly quickly, it was not easy for the seven men and five women.
“We took a vote and it was not unanimous, so we said let’s think about it over the weekend and talk about it on Monday,” she said of the jury’s first day of deliberations on Friday, November 4. “It was stressful.”
Franklin says the jury was more easily able to reach a guilty verdict for Murray because of the decision by the prosecution to charge the doctor with involuntary manslaughter, not murder.
Murray now faces as many as four years in prison when he is sentenced November 29. The lightest sentence he could receive is probation, since Murray is a defendant with no prior criminal record, a factor that Judge Michael Pastor will be taking into account. Because of jail overcrowding, Murray may spend little or no time in jail despite whatever sentence Pastor metes out.
“I’m glad I don’t have to make that decision,” Franklin said. “I really have no feeling one way or the other what the sentence is. We did our job.”
Yes, they did their job and it was a fine one. I wish the jury in the AEG trial could listen and learn.