Conrad Murray Gets Maximum for Involuntarily Killing Someone Famous

conrad murray mug shotDr. Conrad Murray has been sentenced to four years in jail for "involuntary manslaughter." And now we know what happens if you accidentally knock off the King of Pop. Depending on how you feel about Dr. Murray's role in Michael Jackson's death, that may be a long sentence -- or a short sentence. However, four years is the maximum sentence for "involuntary manslaughter," so it looks like if you involuntarily take down the King of Pop, you will get the maximum. Note to self: don't accidentally kill major pop stars.

Would the sentence be different if Dr. Murray had been responsible for someone else's death? Someone less famous? Or not at all famous? I wonder ...


My mother almost died a few years ago when her doctor did a sloppy job with a colonoscopy. Somewhere along the way there was a scrape, and that became infected, and next thing we know, she's in intensive care! It came out fine -- she recovered, and my sister and I badgered the hospital until we made sure the bill was on her doctor. But what If she had died? Could we have brought the doctor to trial on charges of manslaughter?

Ha! Don't be ridiculous. Not for some random, unfamous lady in Utah. Which irresistibly danceable tunes did she write? When was her last world tour? Oh well, too bad. That's what medical malpractice insurance is for. Hope your lawyer is good enough to at least cover the funeral.

No, we save jail time and serious-sounding sentences for the feckless wonders who kind of, sort of, not quite kill major celebrities. Because who isn't pissed that someone out there made the music stop? This is a death that affected the world! And someone must pay -- more than money. The people demand blood! Or at least two years in jail (not even prison) because apparently nonviolent felons only serve 50 percent of their sentences.

I'm just willing to bet that if Dr. Murray's dearly departed patient had been an average Joe, the doc never would have seen a courtroom, let alone be serving jail time. And that's really bad news for you and me and the rest of us average Joes.

Do you think there's a higher price to pay for medical malpractice when a celebrity is involved?

Read More >