MJ "Fans" Who Support Murray?

A Disturbing Trend of Support For Murray From Some MJ Fans? It Seems To Come Back To This Arguement: Was Murray Michael's Friend-Or His Killer? Or Both?

In the last few days I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. A relatively small-but seemingly growing-percentage of people who call themselves Michael Jackson “fans”  seem to be in support of Murray’s acquittal. Note the quotes around the word “fans.”  I’m having a personally hard time getting my hands around this.

But I think a lot of it may have to do with recent comments from former MJ bodyguards Javon Beard and Bill Whitfield.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/entertainment&id=8419877

To paraphrase some of what Beard and Whitfield have said, they basically feel that Michael wouldn’t have wanted Murray to be on trial, would not want him charged in his death, and certainly would not like the private details of his life being made into a public spectacle (this last part I agree with, but as I’ve acknowledged myself here, it’s part of the price for justice in this case). They contend that Murray was a good guy, a friend whom Michael obviously trusted. They also cotend that Murray would not have killed “his paycheck.” This I don’t get, since Murray isn’t being charged with murder, but rather involuntary manslaughter. Translation: No, he didn’t INTEND to kill his paycheck. But he did.

 

Michael's Former Bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard-Seen Here On Their GMA Appearance Along With Mike Garcia-Have Been Largelyg Responsible For Fueling A Misguided Move Among Some Fans To Support The Acquittal of Conrad Murray

Anyway, here is a very big problem. Once you have MJ “insiders” coming forth with this kind of talk, it creates a sheep effect. You will have fans who actually agree that, indeed, this must have been how Michael felt. This is the sort of thing that also leads to division within the fan base, which has already happened far too many times.

Well, let’s put this in perspective. It’s also irritatingly “sheep”-like when we allow ourselves to get caught up in this view that we are supposed to just automatically and blindly go along with anything we believe Michael would have thought-let alone when it’s only someone telling us what he thought. The only person who really knows what Michael Jackson thought-or would think now-is Michael Jackson. And he’s not here to tell us.

Michael probably did think very highly of Murray and perhaps even considered him a friend. That’s why the guy had his $150,000 -a-month position in the first place. But the idea of Murray as Michael’s trusted “friend” goes right smack to the heart of this whole case, which is what the prosecution has argued all along: Murray violated the sacred doctor/patient relationship when he allowed himself to cross that boundary and become a “friend.” And even the word “friend” I use loosely because, frankly, I’m not in any way convinced that Murray was a friend to Michael, though I’m sure he did a good job of convincing Michael that he was his friend.

 

Before We Get Too Caught Up In This Idea of Murray As "Sacrificial Lamb" Let's Re-Examine The Facts

I think where a lot of this is stemming from is the notion of conspiracy theories and the knowledge that Murray is not “the whole picture,” that the culpability for Michael Jackson’s death goes far beyond just Murray. There are some who sincerely believe that Murray is just a sacrifical lamb, being sent to slaughter for all of the other accountable vultures and enablers in Michael’s life. Aphrodite Jones wrote a great blog on just that topic for Investigation Discovery:

http://blogs.discovery.com/criminal_report/2011/11/aphrodite-jones-reports-conrad-murray-criminally-negligent-or-sacrificial-lamb.html

This is something I have never disputed. I even said that I agree with Chernoff’s closing statement that Murray was simply a “little fish in a big, dirty pond.”  And, yes, I do feel bad in a way that this one man is being made the scapegoat when there are a lot of others accountable as well. But we have to remember what this charge is really all about. It is about who/what led directly to Michael’s death on the morning of June 25th, 2009. Not who or what may have led him up to that morning.

As I’ve said before, accountability has to begin somewhere! In an ideal situation, every single doctor who ever prescribed drugs that he/she knew Michael didn’t need; every single shady character and leech surrounding him who enabled, or turned a blind eye when they knew he needed help, or who may have plotted against him or undermined his health and well being, or who  added to the stress that exacerbated his insomnia, etc etc etc, would be on trial. But we all know this is not an ideal world, and it’s not going to happen.

So is it fair to make this one man, Conrad Murray, the so called sacrifical lamb? This is what the bodygurads seem to be questioning. But questioning whether this is fair is a flawed arguement that I fear  some fans are starting to buy into. Before you allow yourself to get snared in this line of thinking, consider a few things:

Dr. Steven Shaffer expertly outlined no less than 17 egregious violations of the standard of care in regards to Murray’s “treatment” of Michael Jackson. By now, we know most of them by rote, but let’s have a little memory lesson here. We know as fact-not rumor or hearsay, but as fact-that Murray:

Voluntarily administered propofol-a dangerous anesthetic-in a home setting

Did not bother to use the proper monitoring equipment

Abandoned his patient

Was on the phone, texting, and sending emails for over 45 minutes

Delayed calling 911 (for what purpose, whether to hide evidence or what, we can only speculate)

Failed to perform basic CPR

Lied to paramedics about what he had given Michael, at a crucial time when this knowledge might have made a difference in life or death

Lied to medical staff at UCLA

And these are just the basic eight violations that were most glaringly egregious; it does not even include the many more technical violations of the standard of care that were violated.

Now, you can look at any one of those violations and make the arguement: But for this, Michael Jackson might still be alive!

This is what we have to keep in mind before we get too caught up in “sacrificial lamb” theories. Murray may have been Michael’s friend; he might even be a good guy but for making some very stupid, blundering mistakes on the morning of June 25th, and maybe trying too hard to keep his employer happy. But none of this absolves his guilt. Sacrifical lamb or not, the above violations of the standard of care are not disputable. They are fact. Those “blundering mistakes” cost MJ his life.

Murray may well be just a little fish in a big, dirty pond, but this goes back to what I said here a few days ago: Let’s not forget, he’s still one of the fish. And he is the fish whose irresponsible actions led directly to Michael’s death.

Accountability has to begin somewhere. If not Murray-the man directly responsible-then who?

To adress a few other issues and misguided myths head on:

That Murray Was Michael’s Friend, And He Wouldn’t Want His Friend On Trial:

Yes, well let’s not forget that whatever Michael thought of Conrad Murray, it would be what he thought of him up to and UNTIL the morning of June 25th, 2009. If Michael could communicate with us now-with the ability of hindsight from the grave-would he still feel the same way about the man who has taken him away from his children, his family, his fans, his comeback, his dreams for the future? We all know Michael had a very forgiving heart, so who knows what he might say, but I honestly think if death provides 20/20 hindsight and he is aware of all the details we know now, he just might feel very differently towards his former friend.

Michael Wouldn't Be Happy For Us To Know A LOT Of Things, Including Even Down To How Messy He Could Be...But It Goes With The Price For Justice

That Michael Wouldn’t Be Happy About Having The Private Details Of His Life Paraded On Trial:

Well, no one is arguing that. Just as I’m sure he wasn’t happy to have every detail of his private life made public in 1993, or 2005. He wouldn’t be happy about this trial taking place, but I’m sure he also isn’t happy to be dead. Michael was an intensely private man, but the paradox is that he was also a public figure, and one of the most intensely scrutinized public figures of all time. There were many, MANY things Michael was not happy about being made public over the course of his career. Even now, I blush at some of the details I know that, quite frankly, I probably shouldn’t. Michael would not have been happy for us to know what kind of porn he read, or what he used to treat his vitiligo, or that his penis was uncircumsiced and splotchy. He wouldn’t have wanted us to know that he liked his wine and occasional whisky, or even that he was a bit of a hoarder and messy packrat (something Michael and I nevertheless share in common, haha). For that matter, I’m sure Michael wouldn’t have exactly been thrilled with Beard and Whitfield going public on Good Morning, America about his having romantic trysts in the back of the limo, or having tantrums and throwing cell phones out the window! No, there are a lot of things Michael wouldn’t want us to know but have nevertheless become common, public knowledge. It’s sad that his life and privacy were violated so often and in so many ways. But it is what it is. This is exactly what I meant when I said that justice for Michael will not come without scars. No one ever said it wouldn’t involve some pain, discomfort, and sacrifice. But what is the alternative? No justice at all? Where do we make that stand, and say, okay, it may involve taking some lumps, but we need to do that because a death has occurred that didn’t need to happen? Nothing could have been more painful; more degrading; more humiliating; more downright dehumanizing than what was done to Michael’s private life during that circus of a trial in 2005. I honestly think if Michael was here, he would say, “I survived a lot worse than this.”  Of course, the ideal situation would have been for Murray to just plead guilty and save all the trouble and heartache. But no, that would have been too easy.

That Michael Trusted Conrad Murray:

Yes, well Michael trusted a lot of people. That was part of his problem. He also trusted Martin Bashir, Evan Chandler, the Arvizos, Schmuley Boteach, and a lot of others he should never have trusted. In fact, looking at the long list of people Michael “trusted” in his life should be evidence enough to shoot that arguement down in flames.

If Michael Could Speak Now, I'm Sure He'd Tell Us Plenty About The People He "Trusted."

I just had to say this because I am personally appalled that there are people who call themselves fans that are actively supporting Murray’s acquittal. It is disturbing on so many levels. If you’re a fan who thinks Murray should be acquitted, even despite his actions that we know he committed-what are you saying? That it’s all okay; all is forgiven? Conrad Murray never once played it straight with us; he never played it straight to Michael’s family, to the paramedics working feverishly to save him, or to anybody. What do we owe this man now? Seriously.

Well, maybe this is a good time to share a dream I had awhile back. I dreamed that Murray was acquitted. In the wake of his acquittal, he started touring the country, performing MJ songs. Yes, that’s right. In my dream, Murray could no longer make a living as a doctor, so he was touring as a Michael Jackson tribute artist! (Go figure, lol). But the most disturbing part of the dream was this: There were fans actually buying tickets to his shows, and cheering him.

When I woke up, my immediate thought was, Thank God, that was just a dream! A silly nightmare that would NEVER happen in real life.

Now I’m starting to wonder.

ETA: I do want to stress that this seems to be only a very small minority of fans, but it’s just something that I felt very strongly about after having seen Whitfield’s and Beard’s comments, and some fan comments in support of their position.  This is a time when we all need to come together, put aside all other disputes, and pray for justice. I realize a conviction for Murray is only a kind of partial justice, but we still need very much to be united on this front.  Remember what  we’ve learned and what has been testified these past six weeks: Murray bears responsibility in this, and he deserves a conviction. 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts On Seeing Michael In Death

An Image Of "The Last Night"...The Way We Prefer To Remember Michael

I never wanted to see Michael Jackson dead. I was one of those that always shuddered at the thought that there were autopsy and hospital post-mortem photos “out there.” Like many, I feared and dreaded the inevitable day those photos would be leaked. There were rumors of tabloids and other parties offering up to half a million for them. For over two years, an excellent job had been done at keeping those private and under seal, as they should be. But like the white elephant in the room, we always knew they existed, and that one day…

Of course, we now know that even the notorious “ambulance photo” was actually a post-mortem photo. None of us asked to see that, either, but it was splashed on magazine and tabloid covers all over the world. It was bad enough to think that this was the last photo ever taken of Michael alive . But now we know better. Michael was dead from the time Murray found him not breathing. He was dead long before the paramedics arrived. So in that sense, the world had already seen Michael Jackson in death. But maybe it’s just that a hastily snapped, paparazzi photo isn’t the same as looking at a graphic, coroner investigator photo of him lying on a hospital gurney-or worse yet, on the autopsy table.

I knew, of course, that the jury would probably see these photos. Like many, however, I wasn’t quite expecting that they would be displayed on TV. Chalk it up to the pros and cons of having live TV cameras in a court room. We can’t have our cake and eat it, too. Allowing cameras and a live broadcast feed from the court room means we see it all, just as the jury does. Warts and all.

I understand why the prosecution wanted the photos shown to the jury. What is inexcusable is how the media immediatly jumped the bandwagon; within minutes those photos were posted on TMZ, The LA Times, in fact, every media outlet I can think of. Haters tweeted the autopsy photo to Michael’s children. I have already seen many of the inevitable, horrid photoshops, the kind that sick individuals with apparently nothing better to do with their lives, like to create. Even in death, Michael has been allowed no dignity, no privacy. Even many of his closest family members refused to view him post-mortem. I know that both Katherine and Joe have stated they did not view him. I believe his brother Tito said he chose not to view him. As Latoya described in her book, this was one reason why she was elected as caretaker of her brother’s remains. Latoya, always the most giddy and seemingly “airheaded” of the Jackson family, proved surprisingly to be the strongest when it came to some of the most gruesome post-mortem tasks involving her brother’s remains. It was Latoya who took Michael’s children in to see their father one last time, so that they might have that closure. She was the one who picked out his burial outfit. In her latest book, one particularly gut-wrenching scene is her description of a few days before Michael’s entombment, when a lab tech, photographer, and police officer said they would need a palm print and more hair samples as part of the ongoing death investigation. Literally propping her dead brother’s body up in a chair, she describes going to great pains to make sure the body was draped with a sheet and covered at all times throughout the ordeal. Why? Because she didn’t trust the photographer; didn’t trust that any photo snapped in the name of “official business” might not somehow find its way to the front page of The National Enquirer!

So one can only imagine how painful it must be now, to know those post-mortem photos are out there for the world to ogle.

Celebrity autopsy photos are big business. In fact, all you have to do is a quick google search for autopsies, and you will find sites that link to the autopsy photos of Marilyn Monroe, Kennedy, and Tupac Shakur, among others. I will admit, I have looked at those photos. Like many humans, I am naturally curious. It’s the same instinctive compulsion that makes us look when we pass the scene of an accident, even though we know we shouldn’t. I will look, but then feel guilty, knowing such photos are the ultimate invasion of someone’s privacy. After all, we are never more vulnerable, more piteously exposed, than in death.

But there are two thoughts of mind on this. Death is also a very natural process. I have always had this sort of clinical ability to detach myself and be able to view a deceased body in, I suppose, the same way a person in the medical field would. Perhaps I’m one of those who would have made a good doctor or mortician, had I been so inclined. It doesn’t “freak me out” to see a dead body. I have seen many of my own loved ones in death, and it has always brought me closure. As some will say, it is only a body, after all. The person is no longer there.

However, I could never quite bring myself to apply that to Michael. Michael Jackson-the most vibrant, dancing, dynamic performer of our time-was not someone I wanted to see dead. I did not seek to see him in death. But the world splashed those photos all over the place, and left us with little choice. That day, when that photo was put before the jury and in front of the TV cameras, we were a captive audience-in the worst sense of that word. The true definition of a “captive audience” is akin to someone tied and roped to a chair, forced to look because they have no other alternative. In that sense, yes, we were a captive audience to something most of us never wanted to see.

No, I didn’t seek those images. But here I have to confess-once they were out there, I did look. But in this case, it was not the same kind of morbid curiosity with which I had looked at other dead images of celebrities. This was something else. It felt intensely personal somehow. Maybe, in a way, I felt like I was finally having my own sense of closure. I will never post or link to those photos, and really have no desire to look at them again. But having seen them, I want to try to describe some of the emotions they envoked-good and bad.

On many forums, I have seen discussions where fans confessed they looked at the photos, even studied them, but then admitted they felt overwhelmingly guilty. The guilt is understandable, because we all know how Michael felt about his privacy, and we do recognize that this is an invasion. But remember, we didn’t ask for these images to be thrust on us. Let’s not beat ourselves up. As I’ve already stated, curiosity is a natural human inclination. Michael himself was fascinated with such things. In Latoya’s first book, she described Michael one day bringing a human brain that he had managed to get from a lab, home to his bedroom. “Don’t tell mother!” he said. He was fascinated with it; wanted to study and dissect it, she said. There was nothing ‘strange” about that. He was a kid, and a boy’s nature is usually to be fascinated with “gross” things. If I know Michael, he would have gotten a laugh out of chasing Latoya and Janet around the house with that brain, giggling as they screeched and screamed.

As for the autopsy photo, I’m not even going there. That was just too much. The hospital gurney photo was sad, but to me, not gruesome or morbid. When I first saw it, I cried and had to gather myself for about five minutes. But the more I looked at it, the more I found a kind of peaceful beauty to it. Let me explain, because this is hard.

The Body of St. Clare

First of all, let me just say, there’s nothing beautiful about the fact that he was lying there dead, far too soon, and for reasons that are just too stupid for words. But it gave me great comfort to see that in death, he was not gross; he was as beautiful as he had always been. I have never been one of those fans who go around describing Michael in deified terms-he was not an angel, or a saint, or a god to me. He was a human being, with all the flaws and frailities of a human being. But when I saw that photo, I couldn’t help but compare it to some of the paintings I have seen of dead saints. There was an ethereal quality about it, but at the same time, something that was heartbreakingly vulnerable and sad. As I looked at his arms, so thin and stilled upon the bedsheet, gauzed with tape. I couldn’t help but think how those arms wanted to hug his children one last time; I thought of him having to go alone, to face the other side without them. I thought of how many hugs those arms had given. I thought of all the pain he had endured in his last years, and that now no one could hurt him, ever again. Call me crazy, if you want. But I just wanted to reach through that photo and stroke his hair and place a parting kiss on his cheek. I wanted to say, thank you for everything you gave us, and now, sleep well. Remember those final lines from Hamlet?

 

Good night, sweet prince

May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest

I guess, really, this is all just a long-winded way of saying, after two years of dread, I have now seen Michael in death. And really, it wasn’t so bad for me (I am speaking from purely personal experience, of course). It gave me peace and closure. Hopefully, no more photos will be leaked, but as many have said, the damage has already been done. Despite numerous complaints, TMZ has refused to remove the autopsy photo. I suspect it generates far too many hits for them to even consider taking it down. But we knew long ago that Harry Levin has no decency, so what else is new? I often go back and think about how hard most of us worked to get that Discovery channel reenactment of the autopsy cancelled. It almost seems in vain now. We instigated that campaign to preserve Michael’s dignity, only to have it violated anyway. The only saving grace, and only difference in this case, is the knowledge that at least-hopefully, this was done in the name of justice, rather than ratings. But however you slice it, the result is the same.

But at this point it doesn’t do much good to get our blood pressure worked up over what can’t be changed. The photos are “out there” now, and will be from here on out, no matter how hard we may work to avoid them. From my standpoint, I’ve simply decided to “own it,” as they say. I have seen the photos, I looked at them; I have made my peace with them. They are not gruesome. They are Michael. And yes, he was as beautiful in death as in life. Death could not take that away. As the old saying goes, once you’ve been faced with something you feared or dreaded, it no longer controls you. It’s like, okay, it’s happened, it’s over, take a deep breath. It wasn’t so bad. Much of this entire trail has been that way for me, to tell the truth. Thankfully, we’re almost to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Closing Arguements, And Now…The Wait

MJ Fans Have Crowned A New Hero. If Passion Can Convict, Murray's In A Heap Of Trouble!

Normally, this is where I would insert an eye-catching  pic of Michael. But I think I can be forgiven-just this once-for deviating from the norm, and celebrating a man who tonight is a hero to Michael Jackson fans all over the world. Closing arguments were today, and like many, I sat riveted for the entire hour and a half that David Walgreen spoke. There have been a few days that I will admit I zoned out a bit on this trial. Hours on end of toxicology reports, medical charts, and cross examinations by Michael Flanagan can have that effect. Not so today. Perhaps it was just the heightened tensions of things finally coming to a head, but there was a supercharged vibe in the courtroom today. David Walgreen came off like a man on a mission, and seemed in no mood to take any prisoners. It was brutal, and it was scathingly brilliant. 

So why do we love  this guy so much.? Because he actually makes sense, unlike Chernoff and Flanagan 80% of the time. He’s easy on the eyes (whereas Chernoff is like what Clark Kent would be if he didn’t have his alter ego Superman). In fact, any comparison of him to the defense team is a little like comparing John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon and Spiro T. Agnew.  

Walgreen Vs. Flanagan and Chernoff. Like Comparing Kennedy To Nixon and Agnew?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But in all seriousness, the above is just icing on the cake. I think we love David Walgreen because he has become the mouthpiece for the truth we have known all along, but which the rest of the world is just now catching on to-and thanks in large part to him. For six weeks, he has done a consistently outstanding job of laying the evidence out and proving the state’s case. But today he took it to a whole new level, using his platform to humanize Michael Jackson, speaking of Michael’s hopes, dreams, his plans for the future, his love for his children. And because he was able to do it without being interrupted; without commercials; without  being “talked over” by some screeching TV host; without being rushed because “we’re almost out of time” it became a powerful message about a life aborted too soon, and the man responsible.

From CNN. com, I have pasted some of the highlights of today’s closing arguements, with my own commentary and responses in bold: 

Los Angeles (CNN) — The evidence is “overwhelming” and “it’s abundantly clear” that Dr. Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson, the lead prosecutor told jurors in closing arguments in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Jackson’s doctor Thursday.

Defense lawyer Ed Chernoff argued there was no crime committed and it’s a negligence case that should instead be heard by the state medical board.

Chernoff also tried to argue away the fact that Murray texted, made phone calls to girlfriends, and sent emails while he was supposed to be monitoring his patient. He used the arguement that we don’t know if Murray was doing it in the room, outside the room, or while sitting by the bed. As many have been saying today, okay, the next time Chernoff has to undergo anesthesia, would he like to know his doctor is texting, gabbing, and sending emails, and would it matter if he’s sitting by the bed or not? I mean, yeah, I will admit it would be pretty tedious to have to just sit and watch someone sleep. But when you’re being paid $150,000 a month to do just that, and are going to administer a very dangerous anesthetic to someone, then you do it-no matter how tedious it is! This is why anyone else who is given propofol is in a hospital setting where you have a trained team watching at all times!

“If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, would this doctor be here today?” Chernoff asked.

Yes. He took a life.

The jury heard several hours of arguments from both sides Thursday and will begin deliberations on Murray’s fate Friday morning.

“He was just a little fish in a big, dirty pond,” Chernoff said, pointing the finger at other doctors who treated Jackson and Jackson himself.

This I agree with, in part. I do, absolutely, believe that Murray is just ” a little fish in a big, dirty pond.” I would be the first to agree that he isn’t the only player here. But that does not excuse the fact that he is, nevertheless, a player-and the last person who saw Michael alive.

Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009, was caused by “acute propofol intoxication” in combination with two sedatives, the Los Angeles County coroner ruled.

Prosecutors contend Murray’s use of the surgical anesthetic propofol in Jackson’s home to treat his insomnia was so reckless it was criminally negligent.

The defense contends Jackson self-administered the fatal overdose of drugs in a desperate search for sleep without Murray’s knowing.

“What they’re really asking you to do is to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson,” Chernoff said.

After Chernoff finished his arguments, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney David Walgren attacked the defense for trying to blame “everybody but Conrad Murray, poor Conrad Murray.”

“If allowed more time to argue, I am sure they would find a way to blame Michael’s son, Prince,” Walgren said in his rebuttal after Chernoff sat down.

Walgren began his closing arguments earlier Thursday, reminding jurors of the personal pain caused by Jackson’s death.

“Conrad Murray left Prince, Paris and Blanket without a father,” Walgren said. “For them, this case doesn’t end today, or tomorrow. For Michael’s children, this case will go on forever, because they do not have a father, they do not have a father because of the actions of Conrad Murray.”

Truer words were never spoken! No need to elaborate further.

In court Thursday were Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson; his father, Joe Jackson; and two of his siblings, Randy and La Toya Jackson.

Murray’s mother was seated on the other side of the small courtroom with several of the defendant’s friends as Walgren reminded jurors about the pain Jackson’s death caused for his children.

“We will discuss how Paris had to come in and see her father in that condition and scream out ‘Daddy!’ as she broke down in tears,” Walgren said. “How Prince had a shocked face, a shocked look on his face and was crying.”

Walgren reminded jurors that they each assured him during jury selection that they could reach a verdict even if they did not hear all of the answers about how Jackson died.

“There may be 100 questions and maybe 97 of them are left unanswered, but under the law you must answer just three,” Walgren said.

Telephone records and testimony suggested Murray was talking to Sade Anding, a Houston cocktail waitress, at the time he realized Jackson had stopped breathing. Murray’s call to Anding was evidence that Murray was not monitoring him after giving him propofol.

“What was so important to Conrad Murray that he had to call Sade Anding at that time? What was so important to this doctor that he needed to call one of his female friends in Houston? What was so pressing that he just couldn’t care for Michael Jackson, that he had to call Sade Anding?”

“What was so important to Conrad Murray that he had to call Sade Anding at that time?” I love it! Well, it’s really a rhetorical question, isn’t it? Because we already know the answer. Why does any man call his mistress when he’s supposed to be on the job? Maybe this little cartoon-crude as it is-is closer to the truth than we know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnlOE7ve5qs

Anyway, here’s one to chew one: That phone call to Sade Anding may well have been the very thing that cost Michael Jackson his life, since he most likely did go into arrest right about the time Murray was “preoccupied” with Sade! I am not angry with her, but I’ll just say if I were her, I would hate to have to live with that knowledge. But it’s likely she had no idea that Murray was supposed to be on his watch at that time.

Walgren said it will never be known how long Jackson had not been breathing when Murray dropped the phone in the middle of his conversation with Anding.

“Was Conrad Murray in another room? Did Michael Jackson yell out for help? Did he gasp? Did he choke? Were there sounds? We don’t know and we’ll never know, because of the neglect and negligence of Conrad Murray.”

This was difficult. But a truth that needed to be spoken.

Walgren questioned why Murray waited at least 20 minutes after he found Jackson was not breathing before he asked a security guard call for an ambulance.

The delay was an extreme deviation from the standard of care required of a doctor, and the failure to act was criminally negligent, he argued.

“The most common sense thing that we all learn as young children that you call 911,” he said. Murray’s delay contributed to Jackson’s death, he argued.

“To speak to a 911 operator was the only hope of Michael Jackson being revived to see another day,” Walgren said.

This is a good time to comment on Chernoff’s defense of Murray not calling 911 right away. First off, there IS no defense for this. It is reprehensible. I don’t care if Murray was a doctor. There is a reason why, when doctors put patients under anesthesia in the hospital, they are working as part of a TEAM. There is a reason why, when you call 911, they don’t just send one paramedic to your house. They send a TEAM. In a life or death situation, it takes teamwork; it takes having the appropriate backup-and the appropriate equipment. Chernoff is dead wrong on this. It was NOT Murray’s responsibility to try to revive his patient first. It was his responsibility to call 911 immediatly, and THEN do CPR. It only takes all of a few seconds to place a 911 call; it requires pressing three simple digits.You can’t tell me that someone as supposedly talented at multi-tasking as Dr. Murray couldn’t do this!

Walgren said Murray’s delay was because he was “putting Conrad Murray first.”

“What on earth would motivate a medical doctor to delay making that call, other than to protect himself, other than sheer self-preservation, putting Conrad Murray first, putting Michael Jackson and his life last,” Walgren said.

Paramedics arrived just four minutes after the call, but too late to save Jackson, he said.

Chernoff argued that Murray depended on chef Kai Chase to send up a security guard while he was trying to revive Jackson, but she only sent son Prince.

Dr. Murray spoke with police two days after Jackson’s death “to get ahead of the story,” because he knew there would be toxicology reports showing he died from propofol and sedatives, Walgren said.

“Unfortunately, his version doesn’t match up with the evidence, the phone records, the e-mails, but he knew what toxicology findings would show,” Walgren said.

Walgren argued that until the Murray case, no one ever heard of propofol being used this way. He called it “a pharmaceutical experiment on Michael Jackson … an obscene experiment.”

Congratulations, Dr. Murray, for being a true pioneer in the medical profession!

Dr. Conrad Murray, A True Pioneer Of The Medical Field, Blazing Trails Where No Doctor Has Gone Before!

Walgren attacked Dr. Paul White, the defense propofol expert, for his determination “to find a theory or way to blame it on Michael Jackson.”

White testified that the levels of propofol and sedatives found in Jackson’s stomach, blood and urine during the autopsy convinced him that Jackson swallowed a large does of lorazepam and later gave himself with a rapid injection of propofol, which led to his death.

“What you were presented from Dr. White was junk science,” Walgren said.

This came from so totally out of left field that it blew my socks off! But I’m glad because it needed to be said. Personally, the impression I got of Dr. Paul White was a man who can be easily bought. Not to mention his attempts to pass off unprofessionally conducted tests as “research.”

“It is sad that Dr. White came in here, for whatever motive he may have had, for whatever financial considerations he did not share, we don’t know,” he said.

White acknowledged that he is normally paid $3,500 a day for his services as an expert witness.

Chernoff defended his expert and attacked prosecution anesthesiology expert Dr. Steve Shafer, saying Shafer was “not a scientist, he was an advocate. He was trying to prove a point; he was trying to prove a case.”

“Dr. White knows more about propofol than Dr. Shafer will ever, ever know,” Chernoff said.

Shafer testified that the “only scenario” in Jackson’s death was one involving an intravenous drip system infusing a steady flow of propofol into Jackson over several hours before his death.

Chernoff attacked what he said were weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument that Murray placed Jackson on an IV drip of propofol the morning he died.

“The prosecution desperately needed a drip,” Chernoff said, because they couldn’t prove there was a crime without it.

The single injection of propofol that Murray told police he gave Jackson would have been out of his system well before the time he found him in distress, Chernoff said.

“If Dr. Murray did what he said he did, there was no danger to Michael Jackson,” Chernoff said. “Michael Jackson was not going to die and it doesn’t matter if you leave the room and go outside and play basketball,

“Without a drip, what Dr. Murray gave Michael Jackson would not have harmed him,” he said.

Chernoff attacked the credibility of Alberto Alvarez, Jackson’s former bodyguard, who testify that he saw a propofol bottle inside an empty saline bag suspended on an IV stand by Jackson’s bed.

The two months Alvarez waited after Jackson’s death to tell police about the bottle in a bag, the lack of his fingerprints on the bag he said he held, and his description of the bag having a milky substance in it, when no drugs were detected, make his testimony questionable, Chernoff said.

Alavarez, who placed the 911 call from Jackson’s bedroom, also testified he helped remove Jackson from the bed and performed CPR on him, but a paramedic contradicted that testimony.

I will admit, this is a detail that troubles me. I believe the paramedic’s version of events. Possibly, in the panic of the moment, some of Alvarez’s recollections became a bit blurred, but that is a huge inconsistency. I suppose, yes, if I were Chernoff, this is one of those things I would hone in on like a hawk, since they have little enough of subtance to build a case on. In the bigger scheme of things, I don’t think it is something that’s going to make or break the prosecution’s case, but it is troubling.

Chernoff suggested Alvarez embellished his story to make it more valuable.

“All the sudden, his story becomes monumentally more compelling and more valuable,”

Alvarez acknowledged he turned down a $500,000 offer for an interview, he said.

“Do you honestly believe that Alberto Alvarez is not going to cash in?”

A coroner’s investigator and a police detective who found the saline bag and propofol bottle never took a photo of them together or made a note about the bottle being inside the bag, Chernoff said, “because he didn’t see it, because it wasn’t there.”

Chernoff argued the “bottle in a bag” theory was even less believable because the propofol bottle had a plastic strapped attached to it so it can be hung from an IV stand. That strip was never used, both sides agreed.

“Dr. Murray didn’t have to go through the ridiculous, absurd step of cutting a bag, propping it up into a cut IV bag, hanging it up where it could fall,” Chernoff said.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor began Thursday’s court session by instructing the jury — made up of seven men and five women — on the law guiding the decisions they must make.

Pastor said that the jury must unanimously agree on one of two theories in order to convict Murray on the single count of involuntary manslaughter.

The first theory is that Murray’s administration of propofol to Jackson was criminally negligent and it caused Jackson’s death.

Although it was legal, as a licensed doctor, for Murray to administer propofol to Jackson, they could find he was reckless in the way he did it, which created a high risk of death.

Criminal negligence requires more than just ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistakes in judgment, the judge instructed the jurors. A reasonable person would have to have known that the action would create such a risk of death.

Prosecutors have laid out a list of acts they allege were negligent, including not having other medical staff present when propofol was used, a lack of monitoring equipment, ineffective resuscitative care when Jackson stopped breathing and a delay in calling for an ambulance.

Using propofol, which is intended to sedate surgical patients, for sleep was another egregious deviation, they argue.

The second theory that jurors could accept is that Murray, who assumed a legal obligation to care for Jackson when he became his physician, failed to perform this legal duty by deviating from standards of care required of a doctor, including, when he left him alone and unmonitored after administering propofol.

Murray, if convicted, faces up to four years in prison and the loss of his medical license.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/03/justice/california-conrad-murray-trial/?hpt=us_c2

 

Whatever the outcome, we can’t fault David Walgreen. This man has given his all, and then some. So now it is all down to the jury’s decision.

And this may be the hardest part of all. The waiting…the wondering…the anticipation. I’ve been asking myself a lot of hard questions the past few days. While I feel confident that justice will prevail, there is still that nagging thought…what if the jury comes back with a Not Guilty verdict? What then? If we’ve learned anything from recent past high profile cases, it’s that we can’t predict how a jury will vote. And these days especially, acquittals seem to be the norm. Perhaps the fact that this is a one-count case will sway things in favor of a conviction. Maybe. But there’s just no way to know. And frankly, whatever does happen at this point, it is out of our hands. It is that time now, the time in which we must take a collective step back, inhale a few deep breaths, and pray that justice will be served.

But even if the verdict comes back “Guilty” it will be a hollow victory. This is a story with no heroes-only victims. It’s a story with no happy ending, for anyone. What is justice when the best it serves is four years, and possibly only four years of house arrest? Michael is dead. Prince, Paris, and Blanket have no father.

And what about Conrad Murray? Like Michael, he has an elderly mother. He, too, is a father with children, and it’s likely his children will be the ones who suffer most for lack of financial support.

But before we get too caught up in feeling pity for Murray’s children, keep this in mind: Conrad Murray’s children will get to see their father again in four years. For Prince, Paris, and Blanket, it is forever.

ETA: I just saw this posted by MJJ-777 on Facebook, and agree it’s a wonderful idea!

 To all MJ fans,

As we approach the end of the Murray murder trial some of us feel it would be a nice gesture to send thank you letters to the prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil. They have fought so tirelessly and with so much passion, skill and intelligence for MJ I am asking you to please show them your appreciation. The address is:

District Attorney’s Office
… County of Los Angeles
210 West Temple Street, Suite 18000
Los Angeles, CA 90012-3210
Telephone (213) 974-3512
Fax (213) 974-1484
Email- webmail@da.lacounty.gov

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