Conrad Murray, the former doctor convicted of causing Michael Jackson’s death, has been released from prison.
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
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
“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
Although widely used, propofol is intended only for surgical settings
and experts have noted that its effects are not actually sleep.