According to Debbie Franklin, Juror number 5 of the Michael Jackson trial, the jury had decided on guilty as a verdict on the first day of the conviction process. However, she also mentioned that not everybody thought that Dr Murray, Jackson’s doctor being convicted for Michael’s death was guilty. The majority managed on the Monday to convince all jurors that Murray was negligent and his mistakes led to Jackson death, Franklin said. In addition, she commented that Michael had addictions. He asked other doctors to give him the operating room anesthetic Propofol and they said no. He was looking for somebody to say yes. And Conrad Murray said yes. After the verdict was read, 58-year-old Murray was handcuffed and taken to jail until sentencing on the 29 November2011, he faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.
This is a stark reality for Murray, who essentially is being held responsible for Michael Jackson’s addiction. Michael was an adult, and therefore responsible for his own ingestion of everything from food to sedatives. Authorities ruled that Jackson’s June 2009 death was caused by an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, combined with effects of lorazepam. Murray has admitted giving Jackson a dose of propofol and four milligrams of lorazepam to help him sleep, but his attorneys have argued that Jackson gave himself extra doses of both drugs without Murray’s knowledge. This is all hearsay and at this stage, completely unimportant.
Murray could be argued as a negligible Doctor but he certainly is not solely responsible for Jackson’s death. He could be likened to a ‘legal dealer’, which is not condonable and equally as bad as regular street dealers. However, the reality is that Michael was the addict and if it wasn’t Murray that would have prescribed those drugs, it would have been another doctor, and it would have lead to the same conclusion, Jackson would still be dead as he still would have taken the drugs and he still would have overdosed.
For Jackson, taking the pills, orally or intravenously was a choice, as it is with every addict. Those who choose a life of drugs and crime could choose otherwise and are thus responsible for their drug consumption and related activities, and blameworthy for harm done. However, all this begs the question, like Amy Winehouse’s death, if Michael wasn’t famous and he was just another addiction statistic, would Murray’s sentence been as harsh as it is? Definitely a point to ponder. In addition, Amy and Michael are no more special than any other person who battles with addiction or dies from an overdose. This is an every-day occurrence that affects millions of people all over the world, it’s merely their celebrity status that grants their deaths so much publicity, shock and concern. Normal people face the same shocking reality every day, without glamour and without media concern.
The reality is that dealers don’t knock on your door looking for users to enable; Murray did not force Jackson to take those pills. Michael Jackson killed himself, and he was solely and 100% responsible for this. And that, is the power of choice.