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Conrad Murray convicted of manslaughter

Conrad Murray, the private physician of Michael Jackson at the time of his death, was convicted on Tuesday of involuntary manslaughter. Murray was charged with manslaughter in Jackson's 2009 death from an overdose of the powerful surgical anesthetic, propofol.

Murray's attorneys had argued that Jackson had given himself the fatal dose of the anesthetic, but prosecutors argued that it didn't matter if he gave it to himself because Murray had negligently provided him with access and opportunity.

Prosecutors had said that Murray had acted like Jackson's employee rather than following his responsibilities as a licensed doctor. Jackson was suffering from insomnia because of an addiction to a painkiller, and he had begged Murray for the anesthetic -- the only thing that could help him sleep.

Jackson was desperate for sleep because he was preparing for a 50-concert comeback tour. Prosecutors said that Murray should have known the danger of the drug, but still gave it to Jackson without the use of monitors and without keeping watch over him. Jackson's heart stopped because of the drug and he died.

Murray was also accused of not keeping records of the doses Jackson was given and not calling for help right away after he discovered Jackson had gone into cardiac arrest.

Murray's medical license was suspended in California. He will also probably lose his licenses in Nevada and Texas. He will be sentenced to prison on November 29. He faces a maximum of four years in prison.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Conrad Murray convicted in Michael Jackson's death," Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Nov. 8, 2011

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