Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, pleaded not guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter charges for his role in the King of Pop's death. The coroner found that Jackson was killed by injections of the anesthetic propofol, mixed with other sedatives in Jackson's system. The charges carry a maximum sentence of four years in jail. Jackson's family reacted angrily, saying he was "murdered." Does Murray deserve harsher punishment, or is it unfair to charge him at all? (Watch a report about Conrad Murray's not guilty plea)
Murray's getting off easy: The "well-honed celebrity double standard" strikes again, says Earl Ofari Hutchinson in The Huffington Post. If Dr. Murray weren't rich and famous, he would have been charged months ago for his "well-documented pivotal role" in Jackson's death, and he'd face more than a short stint in jail.
"Beware the celebrity double standard in Michael Jackson criminal case"
Where's the motive? Michael Jackson's fans and family are "screaming 'murderer,'" says Leslie Gornstein in E! Online, but that doesn't make Murray "a homicidal maniac in the eyes of Lady Justice." Murray was reckless and negligent, but what motive did he have to kill off a lucrative client? With no intent to kill, it's not murder.
"Why wasn't Michael Jackson's doctor charged with murder?"
Murray killed Jackson, but it's Jackson's fault: It will be a travesty if Murray gets off with just two years in jail and the loss of his medical license, says Jack Treese in Big Hollywood. But Murray only injected Jackson full of drugs because refusing would have gotten him fired. In that sense, Jackson was killed by his own success.
"Michael Jackson: Death by dependence on drugs and sycophants?"
Nobody likes the charge: The family wants murder charges, and Murray says he was only trying to help, says Stuart Heritage at Hecklerspray. If "nobody is happy about it," maybe the District Attorney's office did the right thing by charging Murray with manslaughter. The trouble is, this means we'll be reading about the controversy until the end of time.
"Michael Jackson: Dr. Conrad Murray didn’t do nothing, he says"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- How science is accelerating our search for alien life
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1: 10 major differences between the book and the movie
- 6 tiny scientific mistakes that created huge disasters
- Inside Turkey's shadow war with ISIS
- The dangerously childish morality of liberal ObamaCare supporters
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- The myth of the stay-at-home dad
Subscribe to the Week