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Monday, February 15, 2010

Michael Jackson's Doctor Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

After seven months of investigating, the Los Angeles County District Attorney has brought criminal charges against Michael Jackson's physician, Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray, a cardiologist, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter (Penal Code Section 192) in connection with Jackson's death on June 25, 2009.

Dr. Murray is said to have acted "without due caution and circumspection." On the day of the tragedy, Murray tried to get Jackson to sleep using Valium and two other sedatives. However, Jackson remained awake for ten hours and demanded a stronger drug-- Propofol. Finally, Murray gave in and gave Jackson Propofol. He left Jackson for two minutes to use the restroom, at which time he also talked on the phone for 45 minutes. When he returned, Jackson was not breathing. The cause of death was "acute propofol intoxication," in conjunction with other sedatives.

Propfol, a drug most widely used by anesthesiologists to render surgical patients unconscious, is so dangerous that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says only those trained in anesthesia should administer it. Murray now faces four years in prison for the non-intentional killing of Michael Jackson. Had this been more than negligence in administering a drug for an unapproved purpose, Murray could be facing charges of voluntary manslaughter or murder (California Penal Code Section 187).

Criminal Law Updates by the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636

Here is CBSNews video coverage of Dr. Murray's Not Guilty Plea

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