Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Top Stories

Murray's Fate in Hands of Jury

Closing arguments wrapped up the six weeks of testimony in the case of Conrad Murray.

After 23 days of intense testimony, closing arguments came to an end Thursday.

The prosecution summed up their case saying Michael Jackson's personal physician acted with criminal negligence by repeatedly administering propofol, failing to tell authorities that he administered the drugs and violating the doctor-patient relationship.

But a defense attorney for Conrad Murray argued that the prosecution has "absolutely failed to prove a crime" and the case should focus on if Murray directly caused Michael Jackson's death.

"I told you (in opening statements) that we would not be disputing negligence," defense attorny Edward Chernoff told the seven-man, five-woman jury during his closing statement. "We would not be telling you that Dr. Murray never made any mistakes...But this case that you're deciding, it isn't a medical board hearing. This isn't a civil lawsuit. This isn't about money. This is about liberty."

Prosecutors have argued over the six weeks of the trial that Murray gave the singr a fatal dose of propofol and then spent about 45 minutes reading emails and making calls rather than monitoring Jackson.

Defense attorneys insist that Jackson "self-administered a fatal dose of propofol" after Murray left the room in Jackson's rented Holmby Hills estate.

The D.A. called the conclusion of the defense's expert that Jackson died after self-injecting propfol "junk science" noting that the expert once suggested that Jackson swallowed the anesthetic.

"Did Michael Jackson yell out for help? Did he gasp? Did he choke? ... We'll never know because of the neglect and negligence by Conrad Murray," District Attorny David Walgren said.

Chernoff said the prosecution had no proof that Murray had set up the propofol drip the day the singer died. He claims the theory is based on the supposition that Murray had inserted a bottle of propofol in an IV bag, allowing the medication to drip into Jackson's system.

"What they're really asking you to do is convict Dr. Conrad Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," Chernoff said.

He later added, "If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, anybody else, would this doctor be here today?"

Closing arguments began with specific jury instructions from Judge Michael Pastor, briefing the jury on legal terms and how to deliberate.

"You have heard character testimony that the defendant is an attentive, informative, careful,cautious, compassionate, loyal and knowledgeable may take that testimony into consideration along with all the other evidence in deciding whether the people have proved that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," the judge said.

Jury deliberation is scheduled to begin Friday. If convicted, the 58-year-old cardiologist faces up to four years in prison. Jackson died on June 25, 2009. He was 50 years old.


[...] Murray's Fate in Hands of Jury COMMENTS Leave a comment [...]

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.