LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson’s doctor was properly sentenced to four years behind bars in the star’s death and should not be released on bail, prosecutors argued Tuesday in a response to his bid for release while his case is appealed.
Dr. Conrad Murray would be a danger to the community and a flight risk if he was released on bail or on his own recognizance with an electronic monitoring ankle bracelet, Deputy District Attorneys David Walgren and Deborah Brazil said.
Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a trial focusing on use of the anesthetic propofol as a sleeping medication for the superstar. Jackson died of an overdose of the drug in June 2009.
Murray’s four-year jail sentence is the highest term that could be imposed for that crime.
Prosecutors said the sentence was appropriate under the circumstances and noted it was unlikely Murray would serve more than half that time.
“Michael Jackson died because of a totality of circumstances directly attributable to the defendant,” the motion said. Murray had practiced “a form of highly dangerous and experimental medicine that directly resulted in Mr. Jackson’s death,” it added.
“Based on his failure to accept responsibility for the decisions he made, his complete lack of remorse and lack of insight into the danger of his criminally negligent conduct, he remains a danger to the community,” the motion stated.
It noted that he has many contacts outside the state and out of the country and could flee if released.
The motion also said Murray has not established the existence of any substantial legal question that might result in reversal of his conviction.
His lawyer, J. Michael Flanagan, said in a motion last month that Murray knows he cannot work as a doctor but would find other employment. He suggested the sentence and Murray’s mode of confinement is extremely severe for a man with no prior criminal record.
Murray is being held in solitary confinement and is chained to a table when he meets with his lawyers, according to Flanagan, who said Murray is extremely sorrowful about Jackson’s death.
Flanagan conceded that Murray made some medical misjudgments but said he never intended harm to Jackson.
With Murray’s appeal expected to take more than a year to move through the courts, the attorney said it would be unfair to keep him jailed in the interim. His appeal has not yet been filed. Conceivably, he could serve his entire sentence before the appeal is decided.
A hearing on the motion was set for Friday.