A California judge has upheld Dr. Conrad Murray's conviction in the death of Michael Jackson, affirming that it was a case of involuntary manslaughter. The appellate court said in its 68-page ruling, according to The Washington Post, that there was substantial evidence that Murray had administered the lethal dose of propofol that killed the pop star.
The judge who originally gave Murray the involuntary manslaughter conviction also handed him the maximum sentence in such a case: four years in jail. But after serving two years of the sentence, Murray was released from jail last October in a California plan to reduce prison overcrowding. When Murray filed his appeal, he said that the original judge should have sequestered jurors from hearing key evidence. The appeals court said it found neither procedural errors nor prejudice against Murray.
The new ruling said that Murray had shown a "callous disregard" for Jackson's health, and that the trial had shown he had administered "dangerous" drugs to Jackson without the proper implements. "The evidence demonstrated that Mr. Jackson was a vulnerable victim and that [Murray] was in a position of trust, and that [the doctor] violated the trust relationship by breaching standards of professional conduct in numerous respects," it said.
In related news, Jackson's mother, Katherine, had recently sought a new trial in her wrongful death lawsuit against concert promoter AEG. She had accused the promoter of showing negligence when it hired Murray to look after her son. A judge rejected her bid for a new trial last Friday, according to The Associated Press.