Dr Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal doctor was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter yesterday (7 November) in a unanimous decision from the jury.
Following the popstar's death in 2009, Dr Murray was accused of gross negligence for administering medicine at Jackson's home that should only be given in hospital, for not calling the emergency services promptly and for not telling the paramedics he had administered drugs.
Michael Jackson died at the age of 50 after receiving a fatal dose of propofol, an anaesthetic.
While Dr Murray claims that he gave Jackson a small dose of the drug to help the singer sleep, his defence lawyers claimed that Jackson was dependent on the drug and took some more himself, along with some sedatives, without the doctor's knowledge.
The prosecution claimed that, even if Jackson had taken the drugs himself, the actions of the doctor breached his duty of care by delaying calling an ambulance and then not telling the paramedics about the propofol.
According to Marcellus McRae, a former US federal prosecutor, "The prosecution did a great job of creating a portrait [of Murray] that asked 'Is this how someone would have acted if he was responsible?'"
Judge Michael Pastor said that Dr Murray is "now a convicted felon who has been deemed the causative factor in Michael Jackson's death".
Dr Murray is awaiting sentencing and is currently being held in custody to protect public safety.
Since involuntary manslaughter is not considered a serious crime in California, the maximum sentence Dr Murray will receive is four years, and there will be a stipulation that he may only serve 50% of any sentence in prison.
It is thought that, because of overcrowding in prison, Dr Murray will most likely serve just a few months in prison. It is reported that he has been placed in a single cell on suicide watch.
In the UK, under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, the maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter is a life sentence depending on the circumstances of the case.
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