• (Not So) Smooth Criminal: The Curious Case of Dr. Conrad Murray

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    He sat in the courtroom, visibly shaken, eyes sullen and you could almost feel the lump in his throat. Dr. Conrad Murray was awaiting his fate and we all already knew what that jury would choose. I mean, the man, the myth and the legend that is Michael Jackson, died in the care of Dr. Murray after taking a cocktail of Lorazepam, Midazolam and Valium to get rest, but there was no sleep for the hardest working man in music–only death once Dr. Murray made the life-changing decision to give the singer 25mg of Propofol. There was no other choice for the jury from the start, but guilty. Involuntary manslaughter. Eerily fitting.

    As soon as I heard the word, “guilty,” my heart went out to Dr. Murray. Here’s a man who’s amazing enough at his trade to be brought on as the primary caretaker of one of the biggest superstars of our time as he prepared for his major comeback This Is It tour. Talk about pressures of the job. But in all honesty, he was also the one doctor, out of many, that turned an ethical cheek and accepted Michael’s $150,000 a month offer to score him what he thought money could buy–peace. An exhausted Michael Jackson just wanted to sleep, but insomnia’s grip created an addict. And Dr. Murray was his dealer.

    No one is willing to look at the fact that good intentions or not, Michael Jackson was an junkie and his drug of choice happened to be exclusive drugs used specifically as anesthesia–Propofol. It was only a few short years ago, most folks’ fingers were pointed at Michael, calling him all kinds of child molester and Wacko Jacko. His death gained him the respect he’s always deserved, but his life was no different than the many others that we’ve negatively labeled addicts–Amy Winehouse, Marilyn Monroe, Basquiat, Dorothy Dandridge–the list goes on.

    Dr. Murray said himself that he should have walked away instead of providing the drugs to Michael and that the King of Pop considered him his one friend. Any doctor or friend should know that it’s always the wrong choice to do something that is detrimental to someone’s life just because it’s what they want and it’s putting a ton of pretty pennies in your back account. It’s a lose/lose and most of the doctors that turned down Michael’s offer knew this.

    Dr. Murray also claims that Michael never shared all of his medical history with him. I’ve been to quite a few doctors and each one of them knows my medical history–cover to cover. It’s a requirement. How can you properly treat and/or medicate anyone without proper knowledge of what they’ve already gone through medically? Clearly Dr. Murray knew Michael was plagued with insomnia, but says he didn’t introduce him to the drug that would ultimately take his life.

    So where is this mystery doctor that started treating Michael’s sleepless nights with Propofol? By the time Dr. Murray acquired Jackson as a patient, the tragic star was already addicted and referred to the drug as his “milk.” The one thing that keeps chiming up in my head is–what man in his right mind would purposely take Michael Jackson’s life? Clearly, this manslaughter was involuntary–unless Dr. Conrad Murray is some brand new breed of OJ Simpson meets Charles Manson inspired evil.

    Dr. Murray allowed Michael to have Propofol nightly to sleep, but tried to wean the star off the anesthesia because he feared that Jackson was becoming an addict, but the damage was already done and Michael used every once of power he had to get his “milk” from Dr. Murray. No matter what happened that day in June in 2009 in the confines of Michael’s bedroom, we know that the pop superstar was not well. Michael wanted peace and seemingly did whatever he could in his power to get it.

    Whether Dr. Murray gave Michael his final does of Propofol or if Michael did it himself, Dr. Murray is responsible for administering the drug to Michael at any point because instead of immediately calling 911 when he discovered the lifeless pop legend, Murray wanted to make sure he covered up all evidence of the Propofol and even made other calls before the authorities were summoned a full 82 minutes later. At this point, Dr. Murray was trying his best to cover his unethical approach to treating the tortured artist, but his sketchy practice caught up to him.

    The allure of all that promised income can’t be worth where Dr. Murray is now–facing up to four years in prison and losing his medical license. Or maybe it was because Murray’s financial past is peppered with blemishes like unpaid debts, lawsuits, tax liens and unpaid child support that may have been the biggest influence on him taking the job. Even if he wasn’t to lose his practice, no one would hire this man to be their caretaker at this point. Two lives completely over. Dr. Murray will never again be the man he used to be and we’ve lost one of he biggest stars the world has ever known. Rest in peace Michael Jackson. God knows you didn’t live in it.

    MSNBC will be playing Dr. Conrad Murray’s documentary that followed him from that start of the trial until his conviction this Friday. Check your local listings.

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