Prosecutors in Jackson doc trial could rest case Thursday

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Offline all4loveandbelieve

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LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors could rest their case as early as Thursday in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal doctor after an expert on the effects of the surgical anesthetic that killed the singer completes his testimony.



Dr. Conrad Murray, center, has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

Dr. Conrad Murray, center, has pleaded not guilty and faces four years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael Jackson's death.

Conrad Murray, 58, a cardiologist, is accused of acting with criminal negligence in giving his only patient a lethal intravenous dose of propofol to treat his insomnia. Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
As Murray's lawyers prepared to call defense witnesses, they face the challenge of convincing jurors that it was a desperately sleepless Jackson who fatally gave himself propofol and a sedative while the doctor was away from the bedside.
STORY: Trial of Michael Jackson's doctor postponed
Ed Chernoff, Murray's lead defense counsel, told the jury in his opening statement last month that he would stake his case on "powerful science" from an expert anesthesiologist, Paul White of Dallas.
The verdict on who was responsible for Jackson's death will come down to White's opinion against that of Steven Shafer, the Columbia University anesthesiologist who was the prosecution's last witness, defense lawyers say.
Shafer said he was testifying without a fee in the case, partly to reassure the public that propofol is a safe anesthetic when used properly.
"In the operating room every day," he said, "patients ask me, 'are you going to give me the drug that killed Michael Jackson?' This is a fear that people do not need to have. Propofol is an outstanding drug."

Anesthesiology expert Dr. Steven Shafer testifies during Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial on Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Shafer detailed the exacting medical standard of care with which anesthesiologists like himself administer propofol. To aid the jury, he narrated from the witness stand a 16-minute silent video showing operating-room procedures. Specially made for this trial, the video emphasized the sophisticated monitoring and emergency resuscitation equipment Shafer said was needed even for the small, 25-milligram dose of propofol that Murray told police detectives he had given Jackson.
Evidence at the trial showed Murray had little such equipment on hand as he treated Jackson with propofol in his bedroom for insomnia.
Before the jury entered the courtroom Wednesday, lead defense counsel Ed Chernoff objected to introduction of the video. It simulated a patient suffering apnea -- a cessation of breathing -- and cardiac arrest on the operating table. An anesthesiologist is depicted as saving the patient's life by first calling for help, then using various means to revive the patient.
Chernoff called the video "a terrifying dramatization." He said it was meant to convince the jury that "the only possible way to provide propofol is in this environment." Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor replied, "I thought that was what the people's case was all about." He ordered redactions of some short sections but allowed most of the video to be shown.
Jackson's parents Joe and Katherine Jackson, his sister Rebbie Jackson and his brother Rebbie Jackson were present in court.The defense faces a major obstacle, according to legal experts unconnected with the case: Murray's statements to police detectives in a recorded interview two days after Jackson's death on June 25, 2009.

By Carl De Souza, AFP/Getty Images
Michael Jackson announced a series of comeback concerts in London on March 5, 2009.
On the recording, jurors heard Murray volunteering that he'd been giving Jackson propofol, the singer's favored sleep aid, nearly nightly for two months. Murray said he was trying to "wean him off" off the anesthetic, which he said other doctors previously had supplied.
"It wasn't even a homicide investigation until he talked to the police," said Tom Mesereau, who successfully defended Jackson in 2005 against a charge of molesting a 12-year-old boy.
Christopher Rogers, a Los Angeles County deputy medical examiner, testified that Murray's account was a factor behind his decision to report Jackson's death as a homicide — death at the hands of another person.
Other factors, Rogers said, included the "inappropriate" use of propofol for insomnia, and Murray's use of it outside of a hospital setting and without monitoring and resuscitation equipment and personnel.
It was unlikely, Rogers said, that a probably groggy Jackson could have taken propofol and died within the two minutes Murray told police he was in the bathroom before he returned to find Jackson not breathing.
Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola University Law School in Los Angeles, took a similar view. For the defense, she said, "the biggest stretch will be to persuade the jury that Jackson was conscious enough to find another vial of propofol and use it."
Murray's legal strategy suffered a setback when his lawyers abruptly dropped their claim that Jackson swallowed a lethal quantity of propofol. The lawyers said they accepted new research studies proving that swallowing the surgical anesthetic would be harmless.
Levenson and Susan Filan, a Connecticut lawyer and TV legal analyst, praised prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil for a strategy sharply focused on whether Murray had met basic standards of medical care.
Levenson said the prosecution team was "very prepared, very organized." Filan said the state "put their case in methodically, without a lot of emotion. They presented a very clear picture of what happened that day, and Dr. Murray's actions."
That picture, those analysts said, included fingerprint evidence that raised additional problems for the defense. A police crime lab report unchallenged by Murray's lawyers found no Jackson prints on syringes or other medical devices in the bedroom.
Still, the defense signaled in cross-examining Rogers a central contention that Jackson must have surreptitiously swallowed eight 2-milligram tablets of lorazepam, a sedative that acted with intravenously injected propofol to create "a perfect storm in his body that killed him instantly Jackson ingested enough lorazepam "to put six people to sleep," Chernoff said.
Rogers and two other doctors testifying for the prosecution said Murray would be responsible for Jackson's death even under the defense scenario, because he left an addict alone with access to dangerous drugs.
Murray is unlikely to testify, Mesereau said. The police interview "is pretty much his testimony, un-cross-examined," he said.
Taking the stand "would subject Murray to a lot of difficult questions, such as when Michael really did stop breathing," Mesereau said. "Murray told the paramedics it had happened 'a few minutes ago,' when actually the body was chilled. He would be asked, 'Why weren't you candid?'"
Brian Oxman, another member of Jackson's 2005 defense team, says the defense would benefit from pointing to "empty chairs in the courtroom — other people who are responsible for Michael Jackson's death." Oxman says those responsible include other doctors and "people who insisted that he continue to perform even though he was drugged every night." Jackson was in the midst of strenuous rehearsals for a series of comeback concerts in London, his first tour since 1997.
In fact, one theme in the defense case will be that Murray wasn't the only doctor who supplied propofol to Jackson. Murray's legal team has portrayed Jackson as a demanding, drug-dependent celebrity who insisted that the whitish anesthetic he called his "milk" was the only drug that gave him sleep.
Chernoff told the jury that he will rely partly on traditional character evidence — testimony from devoted patients of Murray in Houston and Las Vegas that he's selfless and caring, not the greedy $150,000-a-month contract doctor that the prosecution calls him.
One patient testifying will be an 82-year-old woman from Acres Home, a low-income Houston neighborhood where Murray runs a clinic for the poor as his late father, also a doctor, had done. "You will like her very much," Chernoff promised the jurors.
Defense lawyers said they expect to call about 15 witnesses, including police officers, scientific experts and character witnesses, and they hope to finish presenting their case by Wednesday.
In the end, Levenson said, the defense may appeal to sympathy.
The argument, she said, would be this: "Dr. Murray may have made a mistake, but that does not make him a criminal. Not all malpractice is involuntary manslaughter. Tragic mistakes happen, but Conrad Murray should not be the scapegoat for what Michael Jackson has done or what other doctors have done."
Mesereau said that although the prosecution "made a powerful case" that Murray violated medical standards, the trial's outcome is unpredictable.
"You never know what a jury will do, and convicting a doctor is not always the easiest thing," said Mesereau, who defends doctors in medical-board disciplinary cases.
Mesereau cited the example of Memphis physician George Nichopoulos. Like Murray, Nichopoulos had a celebrity patient with insomnia - Elvis Presley, who died of a massive heart attack in 1977. A jury acquitted Nichopoulos in 1980 on charges of overprescribing drugs for Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and other patients. Ultimately, the Tennessee medical board revoked Nichopoulos' license to practice medicine.
Murray, too, could be acquitted, but still could face license hearings in California, Texas, Nevada and Hawaii


http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-10-19/michael-jackson-doctor-trial/50830276/1


I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be who I am.
Michael Jackson

Offline all4loveandbelieve

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 afraid/ THURSDAY IS TOMORROW.. YIAKS..


I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be who I am.
Michael Jackson

Offline alfarle

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afraid/ THURSDAY IS TOMORROW.. YIAKS..


Wow...I wonder what's to happen next when all of this stuff ends.  :shock:
I turned 6 yrs old when MJ released the Smooth Criminal single. The 24th will be a very special b-day this yr....:) I'll be 29. Subtract 9-2 and what do you get???? lol Lucky #'s . Last yr in my 20's....

Offline all4loveandbelieve

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afraid/ THURSDAY IS TOMORROW.. YIAKS..


Wow...I wonder what's to happen next when all of this stuff ends.  :shock:

alfarle I have no idea.. I know Murray will be either acquitted or house arrest. As TS said in one of his posts that Michael will come back at the end of january 2012.. I hope he does.


I'm happy to be alive, I'm happy to be who I am.
Michael Jackson

Offline alfarle

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afraid/ THURSDAY IS TOMORROW.. YIAKS..


Wow...I wonder what's to happen next when all of this stuff ends.  :shock:

alfarle I have no idea.. I know Murray will be either acquitted or house arrest. As TS said in one of his posts that Michael will come back at the end of january 2012.. I hope he does.

Me too! To be honest, sometimes after viewing court cases I get the feeling of being left" hangin" as some say slang wise. lol..I'm highly confident about MJ being alive, but after certain situations I'm like, "what next"?! Kind of like a soap opera.  ::P I sometimes wonder if Murray is REALLY in on it , and if he is, when will the OTHER ppl that MJ is attempting to expose be thrown under the bus?
I turned 6 yrs old when MJ released the Smooth Criminal single. The 24th will be a very special b-day this yr....:) I'll be 29. Subtract 9-2 and what do you get???? lol Lucky #'s . Last yr in my 20's....