Preliminary hearings began this week to determine whether Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, should stand trial for manslaughter in the pop star's death. Jackson died in 2009, at age 50, from an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative Murray administered to help the troubled singer sleep. Murray's lawyers say he only gave Jackson a half dose — nothing that "should have" killed him — and that a second syringe found at Jackson's bedside could have been used by someone else to administer the fatal injection. Is the public just looking for someone to blame? (Watch an AP report about the hearings)
Things are not looking good for Murray: The first day of testimony did not go well for the doctor, says Gil Kaufman in MTV. "One of the most shocking revelations" — from one of the late pop icon's bodyguards — was that the cardiologist "asked in a panic, 'Does anyone know CPR?'" as Jackson lay dying. Also, Murray waited 21 minutes to call 911 after Jackson stopped breathing. Murray is accused of giving Jackson dangerously substandard care, so this early testimony scored points for the prosecution.
"Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray didn't seem to know CPR, bodyguard testifies"
But winning a conviction won't be quite so easy: Prosecutors may have presented a strong enough case to send this to trial, says Natalie Finn at E!. But a conviction would require proof "beyond a reasonable doubt that Murray's criminal negligence caused Jackson's death." The defense's suggestion that someone else, even Jackson himself, injected the fatal dose is a bit far-fetched, but it's not "the most preposterous thing we've ever heard."
"Five things vou'll hear during the Michael Jackson manslaughter hearing"
Murray sounds incompetent, but let's reserve judgment: If the tales of Murray's "blundering" are true, says Mof Gimmers in Heckler Spray, he is a "boob," and "quite possibly the least qualified person on Earth" to be caring for an "outrageously sick man like Jackson." But, no matter what grieving Jackson fans say, "justice" is uncovering the truth. So let's wait until the defense has its say — it would be "awful if we were haranguing someone" who only tried to "save a man's life."
"Dr. Conrad Murray didn't know CPR, or how to be a doctor in general say lunatic Michael Jackson fans this morning"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What political elites don't understand about Scotland's push for independence
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why gay people of color are still losing
- In defense of family dinner
- Is 'feminism' just another word for 'liberalism'?
- Do you need to be crazy to be the best?
Subscribe to the Week