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3 Nov 2011


Conrad Murray trial: Last chance to make their case

Wednesday, November 02, 2011 


The prosecution and defense in the Conrad Murray trial will have one last chance to make their case during closing arguments on Thursday.


The jury was given the day off on Wednesday.

The prosecution portrayed Murray as a careless cardiologist who gave in to outrageous demands from Michael Jackson, sedating him like a surgery patient in order to help him sleep.

On the other hand, the defense described Murray as a competent and caring physician who treated patients who were too poor to pay him.

"If this man had been greedy, he never would have come to an area or community of Acres Home, 75 percent of them poor, on welfare and Social Security," Ruby Mosely, a former patient, testified.

Motive will not be factor for deliberation. Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor will instruct the panel about presumption of innocence, believability, conflict of testimony - among other points of law.

Throughout the trial, attorneys dueled over how Jackson got a fatal dose of the sedative propofol in his veins. The defense's propofol expert testified that Jackson could have injected it in an IV through a preloaded syringe.

The prosecution's propofol expert said such a scenario was not likely, but possible. The crux of prosecution's case is that Murray was supposed be in control of the sedative at all times.

"There was a failure to use due care or his actions fell below the standard of care, and that action ... caused the death of Michael Jackson," said legal analyst George Bird.

Descriptions of alleged failures to perform a legal duty as a licensed physician are paramount in the case. Five acts will be described regarding propofol in Jackson's bedroom: failure to use other trained medical personnel, failure to have proper monitoring equipment, failure to have constant visual monitoring, failure to have resuscitative care in case of an emergency, and failure to call 911. 

According to Bird, the jury does not have to agree on all five acts - just one act.

 "The jurors have to agree unanimously, all 12, on any specific act to return a verdict of guilty," Bird said.

The prosecution and defense rested their case Tuesday after 22 days of testimony. Pastor informed Murray of his constitutional right to take the stand, but Murray acknowledged that he was willingly giving up his right to testify.

 Murray is on trial for involuntary manslaughter for Jackson's sudden death on June 25, 2009, at the age of 50. Prosecutors allege Murray tried to hide the fact that he had been giving propofol to Jackson.

Murray, 58, has pleaded not guilty and has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted, he could face up to four years in prison and lose his medical license.

(Copyright ©2011 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)  

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