Defense attorneys fighting to acquit Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s personal physician, of an involuntary manslaughter charge in the pop star’s death faced what many legal experts said was a series of insurmountable obstacles, says the Los Angeles Times. Lawyers had to overcome an incriminating interview their client gave detectives; contend with a victim loved by millions around the globe; and deal with a series of court rulings that limited their attempts to point the finger at another possible culprit: Jackson himself.
Jurors were not allowed to hear evidence the defense team hoped would bolster their argument that Jackson was so drug-addled and starved for sleep that he accidentally overdosed on a surgical anesthetic as he prepared for a long-awaited comeback tour. Even a key defense witness inflicted damage to the physician’s case. Murray’s medical expert conceded last week that the Houston cardiologist violated medical standards by administering the powerful sedative propofol in the bedroom of Jackson’s rented home. “The defense was hamstrung from the get-go,” said defense lawyer Mark Geragos, who represented Jackson in the early stages of the singer’s trial on child molestation charges nearly a decade ago. Defense lawyer Robert Schwartz said he was surprised that Murray’s lead attorney, Ed Chernoff, didn’t emphasize more that most accusations against physicians are handled in civil, not criminal, court.