Nov 07 2011

GUILTY: Post Verdict Reflection by Michael Jackson Fans & Advocates

Category: Justice,VideosSeven @ 9:04 pm

•

Conrad Murray is guilty. He has been remanded to custody with no bail, taken away in handcuffs, finally. Sentencing is November 29th, 2011. It is the 7th day of the month, the 7th week of trial, and GUILTY begins with “G”, the 7th letter of the alphabet. 7•7•7

Post Verdict Reflection by Michael Jackson Fans & Advocates

Today, the jury in the trial of The People v Conrad Murray returned a Guilty verdict.

In a statement sent to media outlets, we expressed our gratitude and appreciation to the jurors who put their lives on hold to serve their community, to DDA David Walgren and DDA Deborah Brazil for the outstanding case they presented, and to the honorable Judge Pastor, who ensured this trial – in the courtroom at least – did not echo the disgrace of 2005 and pander to a selective, hystericized media.

Even though this verdict can never compensate for the profound loss that Michael Jackson and his children – Prince, Paris and Blanket, family, friends and fans have suffered – and will continue to; what it does achieve is this:

It declares publicly, the undeniable truth that Conrad Murray’s actions and inconceivable omissions led directly to the death of a human being. It doesn’t matter whether that human
being was Michael Jackson or anyone else. Michael was a friend, brother, son and a father. He was a person. Yes, an unfeasibly famous one. But still a person.

In reaching this result, the court has recognized that something precious was taken – a life. A life that mattered and will always matter, not least because for so long that life was treated with so little regard and even less basic human decency.

Predictably, of course, now that the verdict has come in, there will be endless debates by media and the usual talking heads about whether it was the right one. Our position is that it is. But we recognise that there are wider questions.

This reflection talks about some of those questions and the implications of this trial.

Most of the public tuning into this trial were presented with a picture of Michael Jackson and the fans, that in reality has very little connection to fact. Michael Jackson was not the demanding, selfish ‘addict’ he was typically painted as by many in the media, and most of the fans were certainly not all dressing up in front of the courthouse as a small minority chose to. [Note: Most of the fans at the courthouse were actually not doing this either].

The truth, however, is rather different.

Most Michael Jackson fans are ordinary citizens with ordinary concerns and aspirations. Just like you; we have kids at college, are paying off mortgages, working in jobs we either love or tolerate, are studying for a better life – and just trying to live our lives the best way we can. The only difference between us and those who saw this trial as just another high profile ‘tragic tale’ – is that for us this trial was personal.

Personal, because for decades we have supported and loved Michael for the human being that he was. This was never about how great a performer he was, or how many records he sold or broke. This much delayed trial was about trying to get justice – albeit limited, for Michael, his family, and us – the fans.

This has now been achieved.

But what we also clearly saw in this trial, was the same disturbing distortion we witnessed in 1993, in the years in between, in 2003/5 – and since. Billed as the trial of the century by some, or at least in the running, it was Michael Jackson’s celebrity that stoked the interest of worldwide media in this case and underpinned their attempts to turn the trial of Conrad Murray into the second trial of Michael Jackson.

Whether or not that media accurately reflected or influence the opinions of ordinary people around the world cannot be calculated, but it is certainly no stretch to state it reflected and influenced some of it. The media’s unique role in directing the tone and content of national and international conversation about this trial, evidently reflected the relationship that existed – and still exists, between Michael Jackson and the media.

For over 40 years, approximately the same time he was thrust onto the world stage as a child star, Michael has occupied a complex place in world culture. Evolving from an adored child of America to powerful advocate for those he felt were overlooked and in need – Michael consistently used his profile and resources to help others.

Before any other modern celebrity and to an extent that hasn’t been equalled since, far from being the narcissist he was routinely painted as, Michael Jackson’s endorsement of organizations such as: – Make A Wish, the United Negro College Fund, his fundraising efforts for the Horn of Africa famine relief, his work in collecting funds to vaccinate over 5000 children in developing countries against childhood diseases, assisting the ‘Pajama project’ in providing books, toys and pajamas to children – not to mention Michael’s own organization’s Heal The World Foundation, work in Sarajevo, drug and alcohol abuse education in the USA, and work in raising funds for paedriatric AIDS research; Michael Jackson’s lasting and indisputable commitment to the alleviation of global suffering of our some of most vulnerable social groups stands as a peerless achievement.

Yet none of these achievements were mentioned in the day to day coverage by the media during this trial. With something exceeding glee, the public were blanketed 24/7 to re-cycled images and audio of a man at a critically life-threatening point in his life. Media coverage during the trial invariably misinformed American audiences with the opinions of invested tabloid reporters, miscellaneous talking heads, past employees, those who were once Michael’s friends (but no longer) – and more rarely actual friends.

The question of direct and immediate causality for Michael’s death was clearly answered by the court – but there is a wider one. Media focus during the trial understandably centered on Conrad Murray and Michael Jackson, but whose lens were we viewing that focus through? Whose voices were we hearing, reading and watching?

As renowned author, scholar and music critic Joseph Vogel in a recent seminal article ‘Am I the Beast You Visualized? The Cultural Abuse of Michael Jackson,’ pointedly wrote:

“We have heard the point made over and over these past few weeks: It is not Michael Jackson currently on trial; it is Dr. Conrad Murray. But, of course, we know the reality. This is the ‘Michael Jackson Death Trial’ . He is, as he always was, the main event, the tantalizing spectacle. It is Michael Jackson who is under the microscope as we pry, one more time, through his home, his medical records, his body.”

In the run-up to the trial of Conrad Murray, the media didn’t even attempt to deny the sensationalist nature of their interest. After the payload of 2005, this trial was, after all – the next best thing. In July of this year, respected journalist and media critic, Tim Rutten heavily criticized the increasing tabloid directionalism most networks and press outlets now unashamedly promote as valid news.

In his article ‘The Threat of Nancy Grace’, Rutten asked:

“Why does HLN, a sister channel of CNN, give Grace this sort of abusive license? The answer is simple: Ever since it abandoned its straightforward news cycle some years ago, the one-time Headline News has struggled to find an audience — and, of course, revenue. An unremitting focus on sensational criminal cases — most of them involving missing or dead white women or children — with Grace’s snarl at the center of the coverage has provided that audience. HLN’s saturation coverage of the Anthony trial doubled its daytime ratings and nearly tripled its share of the lucrative prime-time audience.”

Rutten also quoted Scott Safon’s on-record comments to the New York Times earlier this year when Safon – executive Vice President for CNN Worldwide and the man responsible for managing the domestic US television network HLN – said: “I want to replicate this [Anthony trial coverage] when the Conrad Murray trial starts.”

Rutten’s closing question in the same article, leaves no doubts as to his thoughts about the above statement by Safon: “Is Turner Broadcasting’s abuse of its power as a news organization through the biased coverage of criminal trials really any less a betrayal of public trust than the Murdoch tabloid scandal now underway in Britain? ”

Good question. Is it?

British media commentator and academic, Professor Brian Cathcart, who teaches Journalism at Kingston University, London, and founded the highly successful Hacked Off Campaign – an organization launched in the wake of the still on-going hacking scandal that continues to rock Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp organization on both sides of the pond – recently wrote damningly about the behavior of the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper in its coverage of British Actor, Hugh Grant.

In his article, ‘The Mail and Hugh Grant: flagrant intimidation’, Cathcart described how Grant, rehabilitated and now [pretty excellent, actually] media ethics activist, had been subjected to intrusive and personalized targeting by the Daily Mail, as a direct result of Grant’s public denouncements against media overstepping of individual’s Privacy rights and illegal trading in confidential information by specific outlets.

Cathcart wrote: “The Mail’s great broadside against Grant has nothing to do with morality and nothing to do with the perils of fatherhood outside wedlock. It is simply an act of intimidation. The actor has been a prominent critic of privacy intrusion by the press and the Mail has chosen to make an example of him.”

It is saying to any prominent person who challenges the press: if you speak out, this is what we will do to you. One of the most vivid insights into the culture of the old News of the World was a conversation from 2002 that happily was recorded for posterity. “That is what we do,” a news editor told a reporter, “we go out and destroy other people’s lives.”

The Mail plays the same game, and its technique in this case is willful distortion. Take three facts and from those facts derive a dozen assumptions, all of which fit your agenda. From those assumptions weave a narrative as demeaning as can be contrived, and then pile the outrage on top. Never mind that the same three facts could provide the foundation of five entirely different narratives, leading to entirely different perspectives on those involved.

This is horrifying and it is happening. Now.

Many public figures, those that dare to put their heads above the parapet to address what Cathcart calls the Daily Mail’s desperation “to blunt the message that the unregulated mass-circulation press – the press that gave us hacking, the McCann case, the Christopher Jefferies case and so many others – is a threat to the health of our society,” are now finding themselves subjected to similar invasive ’stories’ by certain outlets in the British press.

Tellingly, the reason why the hacking scandal grabbed then pummelled international headlines was because the now defunct News of the World newspaper didn’t limit its criminality to British Princes, celebrities and politicians. It went much further.

Nick Davies – the phenomenal, British, newspaper journalist at the Guardian newspaper, who had been tracking and reporting the evidence against the News of the World for over 4 years prior to the Milly Dowler breakthrough story – broke that shocking story to the world on July 4, 2011. Davies’s story revealed, harrowingly, how missing schoolgirl Milly’s Dowler’s family – desperately waiting for news of Milly – had thought she was still alive when the previously full in-box of voicemails on Milly’s mobile was suddenly able to receive voicemails.

Naturally, Milly’s family assumed Milly was deleting the old voicemails. Their hope and their joy was to be shortlived however. As it turned out, the person deleting voicemails left for Milly was Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator employed, until very recently, by yet-to-be-determined, senior staff at the News of the World. The reason? To obtain the inside scoop on the Milly Dowler ‘story’ in order to publish and sell newspapers.

The British public were disgusted. One, because the abuse of Milly Dowler and her family’s privacy is, and will remain, a universally agreed low for journalism, but also, secondly, because they perceived it as involving an ‘ordinary person.’ One of them. This distinction between what is considered appropriate journalistic ethics in relation to an ‘ordinary’ individual or a ‘celebrity/public’ individual was made time and time again by commentators in, and by the media, over the weeks and months that followed the Milly Dowler story.

The truth, of course, is simpler. When it comes to damaging, false, explicit or any other serious matter; the things that hurt someone who is famous will equally hurt someone who is not. In fact, the fall-out is often more acute when the person (s) concerned is famous. If a person is considered too privileged or ‘lucky,’ the world will turn on their ‘missteps’ quicker than you can say Tiger Woods.

The distinction between the rights and wrongs of press intrusion into so-called ‘private’ and ‘public’ individuals is a baseless one. Apart from clearly stated instances of public interest, there is no justification for the kind of gross overstepping of media ethics the News of the World – and others – engaged in, and perhaps still do.

None of the above was news to Fleet Street – or Michael Jackson fans.

For years, we have watched helplessly while Michael was slowly dismembered and misrepresented by inflated, inaccurate incendiary stories that had no basis in fact. Word by word, headline by headline, the pressure on one human being was intolerable. Michael wrote about it, sang about it, talked about it. But no-one was listening. No-one but those close to him and us, the fans.

The reason Michael Jackson was treated this way? As always, the bottom line – money. Careers were made, air-time was filled, TV shows shlocked viewers and copy was sold. The reality is; that with few exceptions, if one looks at the media’s coverage over the past twenty plus years of not only the legal challenges Michael faced during his life but also typical news stories, there are relatively few examples of any serious attempt to inform and neutrally cover Michael’s life.

In death, it was no different.

Across-the-board media bombarded the public with stories from opportunists eager for their 15 minutes of fame. From would-be ‘I’m-the’real’daddy’ contenders, to ‘here-buy-my-book/DVD/tapes,’ to Maureen Orth on June 26, 2011, unbelievably telling then host at MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, Matt Lauer, that “I think this ending is great for Michael”, and “He would have wanted to go out this way,” to ‘exclusives’ from everyone and anyone that ever set eyes on Michael Jackson; the queue around the block for face-time by these characters was unprecedented, and inevitably – paid for by media outlets.

During Conrad Murray’s trial, in a million bars and workplaces around the world, from sofas and news-stands, advert screens at Times Square, New York and Piccadilly Circus, London – Michael’s life and death was autopsied by the very people that in an authentic, larger understanding of cause and effect played a critical role in exacerbating the context that would eventually bring June 25, 2009 into being.

This trial was yet another opportunity for the media to continue making money at the expense of Michael’s character – and the truth. For weeks we have watched and listened while the media ignored the clear facts of Michael Jackson’s autopsy and toxicology reports and the reality that he died from acute propofol intoxication, preferring to speculate about issues unrelated to the crucial events of June 25, 2009.

On a daily basis and almost uniformly, sweeping, assumptive judgements were made about Michael Jackson’s life and character by large sections of the media in order to draw eyeballs, ratings and clicks to their outlets. As a result, they painted a picture of Michael Jackson far removed from the reality of a man, in fact, being inadequately treated by the doctor paid to care for him.

It is a well documented fact, corroborated by numerous statements by both Michael Jackson and those who knew or treated him over the years, that Michael suffered from the nightmare of insomnia. It is also a fact that Conrad Murray’s choice to ignore rudimentary safety procedures when administering a demonstrably inappropriate drug to treat that condition led directly to Michael’s death.

While most of the media or independent commentators did not focus on these facts, there were exceptions. Beth Karas, Anthony McCartney, Linda Deutsch and the Associated Press, Law Med, Dr Barry Friedberg, Sky’s Michael McParland, Michael C. Barnes, Dr Patrick Treacy, Matt Semino, Thomas Mesereau, and those of Michael’s friends who spoke up for him – voices that avoided easy soundbites and paid attention to the facts Michael Jackson’s toxicology and autopsy reports established.

Mostly, however, lowest common denominators like TMZ, Harvey Levin, Bill Handel, Dr Drew, legal anachronism Brian Oxman, and the UK’s Kelvin Mackenzie and The Daily Mail chose to either deliberately or simply incompetently disregard those facts.

The misreporting of the circumstances surrounding Michael’s death began just hours after he died. Willful ignorance of the facts was typified by a story in Britain’s Sun newspaper on June 29, 2009, which quoted extensively from a fake autopsy report. The content of this bogus report was then replicated all over the world.

As well as referring to a “network of scars” on Michael’s face, which turned out not to exist, the Sun’s story spoke of a chest “wound” supposedly caused by recent skin cancer surgery. The Sun further claimed that the bridge of Michael’s nose had “vanished,” his nose had “caved in” on one side, and that he had cuts on his back and puncture marks all over his body. Each and every one of these claims would prove to be false.

In fact Coroner Dr. Christopher Rogers, testifying for the prosecution in Murray’s trial stated that Michael Jackson was “healthier than the average person his age.”

The toxicology report established that there was no Demerol in Michael Jackson’s system when he died. In addition, no evidence of Demerol withdrawal was feasibly proven by the defense at this trial. Yet this red herring was continually offered up as mitigation for Murray’s criminality by many in the media for one reason: generating controversial content in order to drive up ratings.

For years Michael Jackson said he had Vitiligo. An inhibitive and exposing condition for anyone – but even more so for a black man whose life was lived so publicly – how painful must it have been to be continually accused of ‘hating’ his own race when in fact the truth was anything but?

That Michael Jackson had the condition of vitiligo was established as a matter of record by the autopsy report of June 26, 2009.

With this verdict we hope that people around the world take a long, hard look at those responsible for informing them with accurate facts – and further, asks serious questions about the growing trend in high profile trials for lawyers to use PR teams to feed deliberately distracting stories to waiting outlets while juries have yet to be chosen.

We would like to be clear:

We welcome this verdict and applaud those who fought for it and awarded it; but it is not the whole story of how we arrived here.

Somewhere along the way that basic human right we all share – the right to be treated with dignity and decency and recognized as a thinking, feeling individual – was taken away from Michael Jackson. And while it was happening the only people raising the alarm were Michael’s family and friends and us – the fans.

In 1993, widespread checkbook-journalism incentivized a parade of disgruntled ex-employees and other dubious ‘sources’ selling their ‘eye-witness’ accounts on prime time.

In the subsequent trial of 2005, all of these ‘sources’ would prove to be utterly without credibility.

Over the next 18 years a coterie of singularly one-sided media commentators – namely Diane Dimond, Maureen Orth, Nancy Grace, Gloria Allred, Joy Behar, Bill O’Reilly and the rest – were given carte blanche to say and write whatever they wanted to about Michael Jackson without attention to fact or journalist ethics. The result? An industry that should – and did – know better, gave credence to the patently extortionate claims of 1993 and the maliciously motivated charges of 2003/5.

After Michael’s death those who actually knew him came forward to reveal the truth of who Michael Jackson was and who he had been all along. During the trial, America and the world heard for itself in an illicit recording made by Conrad Murray, the slurred but humanitarian intentions of a man who even in his lowest moment was thinking of others and what he could do to help them.

In the rush by many to diminish an exceptional man’s legacy and a lifetime spent giving, the secondary issue in this trial – the agony of long-term insomnia – has been forgotten. Michael Jackson died because of the profoundly egregious actions and inaction of Conrad Murray on June 25, 2009; but what about what was done to him for decades before?

Could any of us have lived Michael’s childhood, dealt with the competing demands of uber fame and the longing for normalcy, empathized on such a core level with children in need – while yet being so reviled, used and betrayed? Could any of us have stood it? Or would we too have been confused, frightened and in need of help? Is it any wonder that Michael Jackson suffered from insomnia?

Yet amid the frenzied speculation the one question no-one is asking is: Why?

It seems a media that was content to conscript public opinion and so effectively hystericize it to act as judge and jury when Jackson was being turned into an object of worldwide derision, is now reluctant to turn that same spotlight on itself. Where is the frank self-examination of that behavior? Behavior, which – if those who participated in it are honest – know was little more than legitimized abuse by an industry that refuses all attempts to regulate itself.

During this trial an implausible defense team overtly banking on the nearly 20 years of ignorance and embedded misinformation that many still believe about a proven, innocent man, asked America and opinion around the world to swallow the premise that Michael Jackson would actually pay a man to inadequately monitor him and provide a less than 25% chance that he would wake up and see his children again.

Thankfully, 12 men and women saw through this absurdity and handed down a verdict that reflected the facts and evidence presented by an outstanding prosecution team.

Meanwhile the one question the media is still refusing to ask; what brought a man who gave so much joy, art, and selfless example, to a place where his best-case scenario was nightly oblivion – remains unanswered and unexplored? Predictably, the echo chamber continues to rattle with the wrong questions, the prurient questions. The ones that go underneath a picture of a dead, naked man on a gurney.

Is Conrad Murray the cause of Michael Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009? Undeniably, and now legally, yes. But let us not forget what came before and those who share collusive responsibility for that.

~

What the world needs to read and watch:

Journalist Charles Thomson: One of the Most Shameful Episodes in Journalistic History

Joseph Vogel, author of  ‘Man in the Music: The Creative Life and work of Michael Jackson

Man Behind the Myth by Walking Moon Studios.

_ _ _

NOTE: By way of credit, readers should know I did not write this post-verdict reflection. I can’t say who did but rest assured the writer(s) are very loyal MJ fans and advocates who spent considerable time putting this beautiful article together in response to the verdict.

Tags:


Oct 10 2011

Some thoughts on the second week of the Conrad Murray trial

Category: Books,Justice,MJ QuotesSeven @ 2:09 am
"Our Eyes are Windows to the World" -MJ

"Our Eyes are the Windows to the World" -MJ

•

Once again, I am not going to give a detailed analysis of each witness but rather just share some thoughts about various aspects of the week’s proceedings and developments I personally found interesting.

If you want a detailed and well-done transcription of each day’s proceedings and each witness’s answers to examination by the prosecution and the defense, you can find those at MJJ Community. Also, if you are unable to watch the trial live, some trial video footage is being archived here: http://www.youtube.com/user/JustMeSTKK

~

The week began with the testimony of Dr. Thao Nyguen who works at UCLA as a cardiologist/scientist. Dr. Nyguen was visibly annoyed with the cross-examination by Chernoff however she held her own quite well.

Dr. Nguyen was assisting Dr. Richelle Cooper who testified last week. Dr. Nguyen asked Murray what time he had given MJ the Ativan. Murray stated he did not know. Dr. Nguyen stated that Murray told him he found MJ not breathing. Dr. Nguyen asked what time that was. Murray stated he did not know. Dr. Nguyen stated that she then asked Murray what time was 911 called. Murray stated he did not know and that he had no concept of time because he did not have a watch. Dr. Nguyen stated she asked for an estimate from Murray about the time between when he found MJ not breathing to the time he called 911. Murray was not able (or refused) to give such an estimate. This is very interesting because later when we hear Murray’s interview with police investigators, Murray states that he looked at his watch to determine if enough time had gone by to give MJ another sedative when the previous one didn’t seem to be working.

Dr. Nguyen also flatly stated on pressure from the defense that “I don’t use Propofol when there’s no procedure being done“. Defense attorney Flanagan says that’s because she never practiced outside a hospital. Dr. Nguyen said she does work outside a hospital setting and she would never use Propofol in an outpatient setting.

She also stated that she always uses an anesthesiologist in procedures and that at least 3 people will be in the room: cardiologist, anesthesiologist and a nurse. She asserted that propofol would be administered in a designated place, with designated personnel and necessary equipment and that a crash cart should be available. Dr. Nguyen insisted that since propofol can cause negative effects and that it doesn’t have an antidote, one should be prepared for the worst when giving propofol before they even start administering it. All of these things are simply appropriate standards of care that must be followed when propofol is used. And unfortunately, it is these standards of care that Conrad Murray failed to follow in treating Michael Jackson.

Stacey Ruggles had worked for Conrad Murray since 1997 and helped him open his Houston office. That office was opened on July 10th, 2006 and was opened in Murray’s father’s memory, treating mostly patients on a fixed income (Medicare most likely).

On cross-examination by the prosecution (Brazil), Ms. Ruggles stated that Conrad Murray had two offices: one in Houston, and one in Las Vegas. This is interesting because Conrad Murray was having drugs and supplies shipped to his third non-existent “office” in LA. This “office” was actually his mistress Nicole Alvarez’s apartment where he is currently living full time and has been since around April/May 2009 – and paying Alvarez’s $2500/month rent and other expenses.

Murray’s $1 million Las Vegas home, in which he had lived with his wife Blanche, has now been repossessed and sold.. Says the LasVegas News:

Dr Conrad Murray has been dealt another huge blow… his ­$1million Las Vegas home has been repossessed.

Murray fought ­desperately to hang on to the ­four-bedroom ­property in a gated community.

But the star’s personal ­physician, who has a string of mistresses and has fathered several children with ­different women, failed to keep up the mortgage ­payments.

One medical supplier, SeaCoast Medical Supply, whose sales rep (Sally Herschberg) testified on October 4th, refused to ship supplies to the LA residential address Murray currently occupies with Ms. Alvarez, calling the request to do so a “red flag“.

We heard from three of Murray’s female interests this week: Michelle Bella, Sade Anding, and Nicole Alvarez. Sade Anding, if you remember, was the one Murray called at 11:51 a.m. on June 25th, 2009 and realized after several moments of talking that Murray was no longer on the line. Anding says she heard “mumbling and coughing” in the background. Police detectives later contacted Anding as part of their investigation and Murray apologized to her for this, offering up his lawyer to accompany her to the police interview.

Nicole Alvarez is the 29-year-old mother of Murray’s latest child born in March, 2009 and with whom Murray currently lives and has lived since 2009. During her testimony, Alvarez behaved more like she had been called for some sort of performance audition than someone who had been called to testify at a manslaughter trial, the seriousness of this case obviously escaping her.  When the prosecution (Brazil) asked her what type of work she does, she stated she is an “actress”, and that in May/June 2009 she was busy “maintaining her instrument” (ie: her body).

It seems Murray used Michael Jackson’s name and fame and the fact that he was MJ’s doctor to impress more than one of his female interests. All of them testified that Murray had mentioned to them that he was a doctor for Jackson. For Nicole Alvarez, though, Murray had arranged a special meeting between her and Michael. It had been a surprise and Alvarez stated she was “speechless” upon meeting Michael, and that Michael was very interested in the pregnancy and the child, wanting to set up times to see the boy once he was born. Also, according to Nicole Alvarez’s testimony, she had gone to Michael’s home an additional 2-3 times and was expecting to accompany Murray to London during the tour.

During the preliminary hearings in January, Nicole Alvarez stated that she knew Murray was to make $150,000/month working for Michael on the ‘This Is It‘ tour because she saw the faxed contract. However, when questioned about this last week, she stated that she doesn’t remember this now.

During April, May, and June 2009, several packages were delivered to Alvarez’s apartment. Some she signed for herself, while others were left at her door or in a common area. Murray was also receiving regular mail at her address during that time. Packages were received at Alvarez’s apartment on 4/8, 4/29, 5/1, 5/13, 5/15, 6/11, and 6/16/2009.

Phone records show that Conrad Murray also phoned Alvarez as he was on his way to UCLA medical center on the afternoon of June 25th, telling her what was going on so that she would not be alarmed when she saw it on the news. Murray had also returned to Alvarez’s home that evening on June 25th, 2009.

Applied Pharmacy began doing business with Conrad Murray in earnest around March/April 2009. On April 8th, an order was delivered to Murray’s Las Vegas office. Conrad Murray removed some of the order and asked the rest to be shipped to his “office” in LA. Murray had ordered propofol, lorazepam, midazolam, benoquin, from Applied Pharmacy. On the weekend of May 14th, 2009, Tim Lopez was planning to drive to LA airport. Rather than charging Murray delivery fees, Lopez offerred to drive the items to Murray’s “office” in LA, but Murray refused saying there was no need for it and asked Lopez to just ship them as he always does. It seems Murray probably didn’t want Lopez to know that his LA “office” was an apartment/private residence rather than a professional establishment.

Lopez testified that Murray had ordered 255 bottles of Propofol. 20 vials of Lorazepam. 60 vials of Midazolam from Applied Pharmacy. Remember, this is the equivalent to about 4 gallons of propofol.

On October 5th, Stephen Marx, a computer forensics analyst, testified in regards to data recovered from Murray’s iPhone. Of particular interest were emails from Connie Ng to Conrad Murray regarding medical records and test results for MJ (using various aliases MJ used), an email from a Bob Taylor in the UK requesting MJ’s medical records for insurance purposes, and a response from Murray to Taylor indicating that MJ refused / didn’t want to provide the records, while insisting MJ’s health was fine:

Dear Bob, I am in receipt of your email. I spoke with Mr. Jackson and requested release of his medical records in order for you to procure a cancellation policy for his show, however the request was denied. I therefore request that AEG consult with kindly with Mr. Jackson for its relevance because he is under the impression that he is already secured in the US. As far as the statements published by the press, let me say they’re all fallacious to the best of my knowledge. Sincerely, Conrad Murray

More interesting was a call / voicemail from Frank DiLeo on 6/20 which was played:

Dr. Murray this is Frank Dileo, Michael’s manager, I’m the short guy with no hair. I’m sure you know Michael had an episode last night, he’s sick. …I think you need to get a blood test on him, we gotta see what he’s doing.

And last and most heartwrenching, the remainder of that recording Murray made on May 10th, 2009, of a very sedated Michael Jackson. The transcript of the recording is as follows:

MJ: Elvis didn’t do it. Beatles didn’t do it. We have to be phenomenal. When people leave this show, when people leave my show, I want them to say, “I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life. Go. Go. I’ve never seen nothing like this. Go. It’s amazing. He’s the greatest entertainer in the world” I’m taking that money, a million children, children’s hospital, the biggest in the world, Michel Jackson’s Children’s Hospital. Gonna have a movie theatre, game room. Children are depressed. The — in the hospitals, no game room, no movie theatre. They’re sick because they’re depressed. Their mind is depressing them. I want to give them that. I care about them, them angels. God wants me to do it. God want me to do it. I’m gonna do it , Conrad.
CM: I know you would
MJ: Don’t have enough hope, no more hope. That’s the next generation that’s gonna save our planet, starting with — we’ll talk about it. United States, Europe. Prague, my babies. They walk around with no mother. They drop them off, they leave — a psychological degradation of that . They reach out to me — please take me with you.
CM: Mmnh.mmmnh
MJ: I want to do that for them.
CM: Mmnh mmmnh
MJ: I’m gonna do that for them. That will be remembered more than my performances. My performances will be up there helping my children and always be my dream. I love them. I love them because I didn’t have a childhood. I had no childhood. I feel their pain. I feel their hurt. I can deal with it. Heal The World, We Are The World, Will You Be There, The Lost Children. These are the songs I’ve written because I hurt. You know I hurt.
Silence
CM: are you okay
Silence
MJ: I’m asleep

You can listen to this recording here: https://www.mj-777.com/MJTapedByMurrayMay2009.mp4

Defense attorney Tom Mesereau has surmised that Murray likely made this recording for devious purposes. It is difficult to imagine why a doctor would sedate a patient to this extent and then record the patient without his knowledge for any other than a devious reason. From the Joy Behar show recently, the pertinent part of the transcript with Mesereau’s comment is as follows:

BEHAR: — audio of Michael Jackson that Conrad Murray recorded. Michael`s speech is slow and slurring, like he`s under the influence of something. Do you believe, first of all — do you believe first of all that it was Michael on the recording?

MESEREAU: Well, I have to assume it was. That`s what the prosecutors are saying, and I think nobody has really disputed that. I was horrified when I heard it because, you know, I represented Michael Jackson through that five-month trial and for many months before that. I never ever heard him talk that way.

During the time I was working with him, which was a very difficult stressful time, he was always articulate, always conversational, always cooperative. A delightful client to work with, and I never ever heard him that way. So it was just tragic and just very disheartening to hear that.

The other thing I want to say is, that I consider Michael to have been one of the nicest, kindest human beings ever created. He had a mission to try and help the world. Even when he`s intoxicated, if he is, and slurring his words and it`s very sad to listen to, he still was talking about building a children`s hospital. That`s the Michael I knew — caring, decent, honorable, and wanting to use his greatest talents to help the world.

BEHAR: Yes. And also very interested in his audience and giving them the best show, even when he is slurring and under some kind of sedation. That is obvious to me.

But the thing I can`t make sense of is why Conrad Murray would record this in the first place? Do you have any thoughts on that?

MESEREAU: Yes, I do. Unfortunately, Michael Jackson attracted one profiteer after another. I don`t think Michael really trusted any adult. He was just — felt that everyone who got near him eventually, you know, showed their true colors and wanted to get something out of him.

Unfortunately, I think this doctor recorded him so he could sell that recording and make some money. It sounds horrible, but I believe it`s true because many other people tried it throughout his lifetime.

Elyssa Fleak has been a coroner’s investigator for 8 years. She testified in regards to the items she found at the residence during her investigation. Chernoff on cross-examination tried to badger this witness into admitting that she had done a “bad job” on this investigation, having not worn gloves when handling some of the bottles and having moved evidence around in order to photograph it. Fleak had previously subpoenaed MJ’s medical records from Chernoff but only received older records from he and Murray dating back to 2006 – 2008 – nothing from 2009.

It’s interesting to note that Michael Jackson’s fingerprints were not found on any bottles or syringes at the scene. It seems a far stretch then to claim that MJ could have self-administered propofol if his fingerprints are nowhere to be found on any of these items.

Bottles of drugs found at MJ's home

Bottles of drugs found at MJ's home

Bottles of drugs found at MJ's home

Bottles of drugs found at MJ's home

Toxicologist Dan Anderson testified on October 5th and presented his findings in regards to exactly what drugs were found in Michael’s blood, urine, vitreous fluid, and liver. It is interesting to note that no Demerol, alcohol, cocaine, marijuana, morphine, or any other such substances were detected. No drugs were detected in Michael Jackson’s body other than those administered to him on June 25th, 2009 by Conrad Murray.

"Not Detected" - except those drugs administered by Conrad Murray

"Not Detected" - except those drugs administered by Conrad Murray

"Not Detected" - except those drugs administered by Conrad Murray

"Not Detected" - except those drugs administered by Conrad Murray

DA Walgren on cross-examination of Dan Anderson, clearly repeated that no Demerol was found in Jackson’s system. Since the defense’s initial assertion in opening statements was that MJ had difficulty sleeping due to Demerol being administered to him by Arnold Klein and that he was addicted to Demerol, it is important to point this out as the evidence directly contradicts that assertion.

Propofol, lidocaine, and flumenzil were found in the IV on the syringe and the short end of the tubing but not in the longer portion of the tubing or the saline bag. Mr. Anderson drew a sketch to illustrate what he’d found:

Propofol was found in the short part of the tubing where the "Y" connector is

Propofol was found in the short part of the tubing where the "Y" connector is

Propofol was found in the short part of the tubing where the "Y" connector is

Propofol was found in the short part of the tubing where the "Y" connector is

During Anderson’s testimony, the defense attempted to confuse Anderson by insinuating that MJ had swallowed extra lorazepam while Murray was out of the room. Flanagan asked if Mr. Anderson came to understand that propofol was the most important drug in the case, Anderson stated that he did. Flanagan asked if lorazepam was important. Anderson he thinks it is important, but that it does not raise a flag. Anderson stated that propofol in any case is important, while lorazepam was in therapeutic range, and that he previously testified that propofol was within range only a proper setting. When Flanagan asked what does a setting have to do with therapeutic range, Anderson stated that it’s very important. Flanagan stated that therapeutic range is desired effect. Anderson affirmed this – yes. Flanagan stated that the literature does not take into consideration the setting, yet Anderson stated that every piece of drug literature takes setting into consideration.

Finally on Friday LAPD detective Scott Smith testified and the full interview between the LAPD and Murray was played. Some interesting things to note are that Murray’s timeline given to police does not match the timelines given by paramedics, UCLA personnel, or those indicated in phone records. There are discrepancies regarding when Murray found Michael not breathing, what drugs he gave to MJ, how long he was out of the room, whether he witnessed Michael’s cardiac arrest or not, why he didn’t sign the death certificate, who ordered the autopsy, when the IV catheter was pulled out of Michael’s leg, just to mention a few. The excuse Murray gives for not calling 911 immediately is that he had to try to resuscitate Michael and did not want to abandon him. The fact that Murray had already abandoned him (along with the use of appropriate standards of care when administering propofol) somehow does not register in Murray’s mind or if it does, he apparently wishes to detract attention from this.

This interview with LAPD detectives was the first time Murray had ever mentioned having administered propofol to Michael. Murray did not divulge this information to paramedics or UCLA personnel on June 25th, 2009. Also, as I stated earlier, in this interview Murray mentions looking at his watch to keep track of time between dosages of sedatives he gave Michael, yet at UCLA when questioned by Dr. Thao Nyguen, Murray stated that he didn’t know timelines, because he didn’t have a watch. He did have a cellphone – two of them as a matter of fact, but still claimed he could not calculate timelines.

Dr. David Adams, fingered by Murray during his interview with LAPD investigators, is said to be furious and planning to sue Murray over his claims, according to Adams’ attorney Liborius Agwara. Adams is slated to testify later in the trial. Murray told investigators that in March or April 2009, he witnessed Dr. David Adams administer propofol to MJ in a cosmetology office. Dr. Adams flatly denies Murray’s claim and said he had administered propofol to Michael four times for dental procedures – never in a cosmetologist’s office, and never outside a medical setting. On “Issues with Jane Valez-Mitchell” (HLN), on October 7th, 2011, Libo Agwara furiously defended his client (Dr. Adams) and claimed:

  • Dr. Adams has only met Murray once
  • Murray is lying
  • his client has only given Michael Jackson propofol 4 times in 2008 in a medical setting when Michael had dental work done
  • Murray told Dr. Adams he could get somebody to join the tour for less money than his client was asking
  • his client turned down Murray’s offer to join Murray on the London tour
  • Murray was pressuring local doctors to give MJ propofol as far back as 2007 (?)
  • Murray overruled Michael Jackson and hired himself
  • Murray didn’t want anybody else close to MJ
  • Murray had total control over MJ
  • Murray killed MJ himself
  • Adams will be looking to file a lawsuit against Conrad Murray
  • Adams does not administer propofol to anyone outside of a medical setting

Dr. Adams had previously railed against Murray’s claims, but apparently upon hearing the LAPD/Murray interview, Adams became even more furious with Murray, and along with that, more litigious.

The entire transcript of Murray’s June 27th 2009 interview with LAPD detectives can be found here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/68219162/Conrad-Murray-interview-with-LAPD-Detectives-without-TMZ-watermark.  I have not completely read through it yet myself, but will be doing so as time permits.

Also, remember there are opinion-free livestream links that you can utilize rather than giving HLN, TMZ, Jane Valez-Mitchell, Nancy Grace, and other talking-head pundits ratings and traffic:

Live Stream Link 1:
http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/livevideo?id=8361777

Live Stream Link 2:
http://www.ustream.tv/conradmurraytrial

For a trial schedule, go to this link:
http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Conrad-Murray-trial:-Schedule–details-and-live-stream/8368739

You may also wish to read other documents related to the trial. You may access them at this link:

Court Documents:
http://lasuperiorcourt.org/courtnews/ui/HPDocumentList.aspx?title=Peo+v+Conrad+Murray&casenum=SA073164&date=2010-05-04

~

Finally, on a happier note, Joe Vogel has told us that his book “Earth Song: Michael Jackson’s Magnum Opus” is available in hard-copy! Earth Song is the last song Michael performed before he sadly left this earth and Joe’s essay on this song and the importance of Michael’s humanitarian legacy is an important thing to focus on particularly during the trial. If you remember, this essay was previously only available in digital format. Many people had asked for it in hard-copy format and for those people, it’s now available. It will be available internationally as soon as it gets through distribution channels, probably in a week or two. About this, Joe says:

I’m hoping in the midst of this very difficult trial it will remind people of MJ, the artist and humanitarian.

Now available in hard copy! For information, see: http://www.joevogel.net/earth-song

Now available in hard copy! For information, see: http://www.joevogel.net/earth-song

Tags: , ,


Sep 18 2011

Character assassination: Not OK then. Not OK now.

Category: JusticeSeven @ 11:51 pm

•

False allegations of abuse are abuse

False allegations of abuse are abuse

A defense attorney has written two articles on his website in regards to false allegations of child abuse, and the Conrad Murray case. These two articles, one written in April 2011 and the other in September 2011, seem to inexplicably contradict one another. I’m not an attorney but the contradictory opinions in these two pieces is very interesting. In the first piece, written in April, 2011, defense attorney John T. Floyd writes about the issue of innocents being wrongly convicted. As an example, Floyd uses the case of a man who was falsely accused of molesting a child. Floyd writes:

[Tony] Hall was sent to the Texas prison system, which leads the nation in sexual violence and assaults, where he was repeatedly raped and physically abused because he was a hated “child molester.” Hall tried to tell everyone he was innocent. No one listened—not even the Texas Board of Pardon and Paroles before whom his case appeared every two years. To secure parole in this state (and for that matter any state in the country) an inmate must admit his guilt, accept responsibility for his crime, and express remorse about it. Hall would not have any of this because, as he explained to the parole authorities, he was innocent.

As a result, Hall served every day of his 15-year term only to find after his 2008 release from prison that he walked into an even more terrifying position in the free world: he became a “registered sex offender,” a stigma similar to the “child molester” moniker he had endure in prison. Behind the barbed wire and gun towers, Hall had only to worry about avoiding the next rape or physical beating, while in the free world he had to avoid being falsely accused of another sex offense or violating the conditions of his sex offender registration. He told Lufkin Daily News reporter Jessica Cooley that he could not even take his Shih Tzu out for a walk without being made to feel like a monster.

. . .

Then it happened. Two years after Hall’s release from prison his victim, now 23 years of age, provided attorney Bates with an affidavit which stated: “My memories of that time are vague, however, I do not have any memory of Tony Hall molesting me or touching me inappropriately. I do remember my mother telling me to say Mr. Hall touched me. I was very scared and told my mother what she wanted to hear so that I would not get a beating. I remember arguing with my mother about this and I remember my mother threatening me.”

The victim’s affidavit is supported by an affidavit from the mother’s sister which states: “[The mother] picked up [the boy] and placed him on the table with his legs dangling over the edge. He was wearing shorts. [She] repeatedly said to [the boy] ‘Tony messed with you, didn’t he?’ [The boy] kept answering no. Every time he would say no, she would slap him on his bare legs, making him cry harder. Eventually [he] answered yes and she stopped slapping him. She would not stop slapping him until he answered yes.”

. . .

There are many in the child-sex prosecution industry who refuse to believe, despite compelling evidence to the contrary, that children can, and do, fabricate sexual abuse allegations. These child sexual abuse “experts” rely upon studies dating back to 1987 which generally concluded that only between one to 3 percent of child sexual assault allegations are false. But even accepting the percentages as being accurate, which we do not, Child Help, a group dedicated to the treatment and prevention of child abuse, says there are more than 3 million reports of child abuse made every year in this country. 7.6 percent of those cases (228,000) involve sexual abuse. With the 3 percent floor data touted by the child sexual abuse experts, it would mean that approximately 7,000 of these child sexual abuse reports are false.

This is all well and good. I’d like to believe that no one in society wants someone to be wrongly convicted (or even accused) of such a crime if he is not guilty, and that society should restore to this person his full rights to live freely if it is proven that he is innocent.

But then, in September 2011, Floyd writes that there is a double-standard in allowable evidence in the Conrad Murray trial. He makes this claim because lead prosecutor David Walgren denied a request by Murray’s defense to call a number of witnesses to testify about Michael’s 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges. Defense attorney Ed Chernoff had planned to call as witnesses a police detective who searched Michael’s Neverland residence and Dr. Arnold Klein. The primary objective was to prove Michael was addicted to Demerol, that he was a drug addict, and that Michael was of questionable character – all of which led to his death. Klein undoubtedly administered Demerol to Michael multiple times and Demerol was found in his Neverland home in 2005 during the police raids on the property.

Walgren stated that Dr. Murray’s defense team was trying to “character assassinate” the victim. “The people are concerned about this trial deteriorating into an attack on Michael Jackson”.

In his dissent, Floyd states: It was okay, from a prosecutorial point of view, to “character assassinate” Jackson as a serial pedophile in 2005 but somehow it is not okay to allow Chernoff to show the singer was a drug addict/pedophile.

Floyd continues:

Michael Jackson’s long history of drug abuse, especially a hard narcotic like Demerol and the drug (propofol) which ultimately killed him, is, we believe, relevant to the issue of whether the pop star accidentally killed himself through irresponsible individual behavior or whether Dr. Murray caused to his untimely demise. And we believe that if Dr. Murray is convicted, the conviction should be reversed on appeal because he will have been denied the right to present a legitimate defense—one that could only be presented by showing Jackson’s “character traits.” The U.S. Supreme Court, in Crane v. Kentucky, explained: “Whether rooted directly in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment or in the Compulsory Process or Confrontation Clauses of the Sixth Amendment, the Constitution guarantees criminal defendants ‘a meaningful opportunity to present a complete defense.’”

. . .

Jackson’s prior drug addictions and alleged pedophilia were probative to the issue that he continuously lived in a reckless manner, and, therefore, had possibly contributed to his own demise. That issue, of course, would have to be decided by the jury—the point is that Dr. Murray’s defense team had a right to present the defense that Jackson, not Murray, was ultimately responsible for the singer’s death.

Of course, prosecutor Walgren did not want Dr. Murray to present this defense because, under § 1103, he would have been put in a position to “rebut/rehabilitate” Jackson’s character. That would have been an impossible task because California prosecutors had presented significant evidence in 2005 alleging that Jackson was a drug addict and serial pedophile. Prosecutor Walgren simply could not have rebutted the overwhelming evidence that Jackson was a longtime drug addict who was reckless in his personal affairs, nor could he have presented any evidence that would have rehabilitated Jackson’s character, which is an unfortunate legacy of an alleged criminal and irresponsible individual behavior.

. . .

Prosecutor Walgren did not want to be put in a situation where he had to “rehabilitate” Michael Jackson, an impossible task except to his adoring fans. And while we would not like to see Jackson’s name unnecessarily drawn “through the mud,” we strongly feel that Dr. Murray’s constitutional right to present a defense is more important than Jackson’s character. Whatever blemishes exist against Jackson’s character were put there by his own behavior and it is an issue that the jury should not be instructed to ignore. Bottom line: if Jackson’s history of pedophilia was probative and relevant to making a case against him for child molestation in 2005, then that same history, as well as his history of drug addiction, is potentially probative and relevant to the issue of whether he was depressed and self-administered the propofol that killed him as Dr. Murray’s defense team claims.

It’s interesting that Mr. Floyd doesn’t even consider that Michael, like Tony Hall in his April 2011 article, may have also been falsely accused of child molestation and publicly crucified by such false allegations, even if innocent and acquitted in a court of law. One has to wonder if Floyd has read the court transcripts from the 2005 case, or even considered the defense’s evidence in the 2005 case, along with the decidedly flimsy evidence presented by the prosecution. In other words, Floyd doesn’t even consider that Michael was acquitted in 2005 because he truly was innocent. Given his article in April 2011 about false allegations, this seems very odd. Unfortunately, Floyd seems to have bought into the media’s characterization of the 2005 trial and the allegations against Michael.

It’s unthinkable that what happened to Tony Hall could have happened to Michael Jackson: that he may have been convicted and sent to prison to endure physical abuse and rape almost daily for years. This illustrates why his brother Jermaine, in a desperate if unworkable plan, plotted to whisk Michael off to Bahrain if the trial in 2005 started to turn against him.

The truth is that it wasn’t OK to “character assassinate” Michael in 2005. It was very questionable as to whether “prior bad acts” evidence should have been admitted even then. It’s furthermore questionable that the 2005 case itself should have even made it into a courtroom given the paltry evidence against Michael and the fact that a DA who was notorious for malicious prosecution was behind the case. Thus, it’s even more questionable now to allow “character assassination” of Michael Jackson because the case is “The People vs Conrad Murray“, not “The People vs Michael Jackson” (again). In the current case, Murray is the defendant, not Michael Jackson. In the Murray case, Michael Jackson is the victim of the crime in question. Michael Jackson is not the one on trial.

Did the defense in the Casey Anthony trial try to convince the people that little Caylee Anthony was at fault for her own death or that she was somehow herself responsible for what happened to her? Of course she is a minor child and this was a case of murder, but nonetheless the deceased was the victim in that crime just the same. It could be argued that the charges against Conrad Murray should also be murder, but it is understood that the court must pursue charges which have the best chance of garnering a conviction.

To continue, none of the charges against Michael in 2005 were drug-related charges. If the drugs found in his home were irrelevant to the 2005 case (ie: not probative) then they should also be irrelevant to the Murray case now.  If evidence from the 2005 trial against Michael is allowed in the Murray case, this evidence could easily overshadow the probative evidence against Conrad Murray in the case, namely that he:

  • administered a drug he is not qualified to administer
  • administered this drug in an inappropriate setting
  • did not follow appropriate standards of care in administration of the drug and therefore;
  • was reckless in his treatment of his only patient at the time, Michael Jackson

Additionally, if evidence from 2005 is allowed in the Murray case in order to show Michael Jackson’s “character traits“, then similar evidence against Murray should also be allowed to show Murray’s “character traits” ie:

  • that he frequented Vegas strip bars
  • that he frequently picked up women at these bars
  • that he is a married man and habitually commits adultry
  • that he was once charged for domestic abuse
  • that he has fathered 7 children by six different women
  • that he at one point was a ‘deadbeat dad’ and delinquent on his child support to the mother of one of those children
  • that he was in arrears on his home mortgage

All of the above could be used by the prosecution in the Murray trial to show Conrad Murray’s “character traits” as a reckless womanizer who has failed to honor his responsibilities not only to his patient, but also to his family and his community, and that this evidence is probative in the case against him.

Nonetheless it appears that lead prosecutor Walgren has ruled out any such evidence in this case, either against Michael, or against Murray in order to avoid this trial being turned into a “character assassination circus” and frankly I don’t blame him.

Finally, there is no irrefutable evidence that Michael Jackson was a drug addict. Reading his autopsy, there is no evidence of long-term drug abuse. No needle marks (other than those created by attempts to save his life that day), no organ damage, a healthy liver, etc.  It doesn’t seem this would be the case if Michael was a drug addict. Furthermore, Michael Jackson only wanted to sleep, not get stoned or high. And, Demerol is not what killed Michael. Acute intoxication with the anesthetic propofol killed him according to the autopsy, and this drug is not physically addictive.

Thus, the whole idea that drug evidence or any evidence from the 2005 trial ought to be admissible in the Murray trial is – if not legally senseless – then at least logistically senseless.

In other interesting news this week on the Murray trial, a key witness for the prosecution has gone missing. Tim Lopez, a former pharmacist in Las Vegas, has apparently moved out of the country and cannot be located for this month’s involuntary manslaughter trial.

On Monday, the court will hear the prosecution’s request to allow previous testimony from Lopez to be used in the trial, instead. The prosecution must prove that they have made every effort to contact Lopez. One additional hearing will be had on the subject next week. Lopez, who owned a wholesale pharmacy in Las Vegas, testified that he shipped a total of 15 liters of propofol to Murray in the three months before Michael’s death.

During the hearing Monday, Judge Pastor will also consider the prosecution’s request to exclude testimony of Karen Faye, Michael’s make-up artist. The defense wants to use her testimony to prove that Michael was sick and weakened before his death as proof that Michael was ill and may have died anyway.

Jury selection continues next week as Judge Pastor also scheduled a hearing for next Wednesday afternoon to begin the process of deciding which potential jurors should be dismissed “for cause.” Both sides will be able to challenge jurors based on their answers given to 113 questions posed to them in writing last week. Lawyers for both sides have only until next week to study the 145 jurors’ answers to determine if the potential jurors can put aside biases and what they’ve heard about the singer’s death to reach a fair verdict.  Lawyers will question them about their answers when they return to court September 23.

•

UPDATE:  On Monday, Sept 19th, Judge Pastor withheld a decision on whether to allow the testimony of Karen Faye, Michael’s make-up artist. And, Tim Lopez, the Las Vegas pharmacist who supplied Conrad Murray with large amounts of propofol in the 3 months prior to Michael’s death, has been located and will be able to testify.

‎Pastor delayed consideration of the prosecution’s request to exclude the testimony of Jackson’s makeup artist. The defense wants Karen Faye to repeat statements given in interviews about what she described as Jackson’s ill health in the weeks before his death, as he was rehearsing for his comeback concerts. The prosecution told the judge in a hearing [last] Thursday that much of what Faye has said in the past was based on what she heard others say, not her own recollections. . . . The missing witness in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor was found over the weekend and will be available to testify, the prosecutor told the court.

Tags:


Sep 07 2011

Dr. Barry Friedberg’s Recent Explosive Comments About the Murray Trial

Category: JusticeSeven @ 5:44 pm

•

Crime Scene

•

A man by the name of Dr. Caleb Pilgrim wrote up a very detailed article about the Conrad Murray case. While Pilgrim seems somewhat sympathetic to Conrad Murray in the case, he also seems to believe that Murray is essentially doomed in regards to his trial and attributes this to “bad luck“. I don’t buy that. Murray’s grossly irresponsible behavior landed him where he is today, not “bad luck“.  Everything Murray did in regards to Michael’s death and indeed the rest of his life was a choice, not chance. And, regardless the picture of doom Dr. Pilgrim seems to paint for Murray in this case, he could still very well walk free of his crime. We know Murray’s defense has all sorts of tricks up its sleeve that it will deploy in an attempt to defend Murray’s indefensible behavior.

But Pilgrim’s thoughts aren’t the most interesting thing you’ll see in the article. What’s more interesting and certainly more explosive, are the comments made in response to Pilgrim’s article by Dr. Barry Friedberg, who I’ve featured or mentioned on this site many times, and particularly here.

What we learn is one thing that we pretty much already knew, and one that we (or at least I) didn’t know. We knew that there were no “drips” of propofol. This means that Conrad Murray injected propofol right into Michael’s veins in apparently large amounts (“boluses“). Dr. Friedberg refers to this as “mainlining” propofol and according to him this is horrendously arrogant and dangerous. Coming from an expert of his stature, this could be quite damning to Murray’s case if it is somehow stated in the courtroom by Friedberg or any other expert.

What we (I) did not know was that Dr. Friedberg had been called as a witness on behalf of Murray’s defense. Again, with his expertise and opinion of this case, this could be very damning to Murray thus I’m guessing that the defense probably scrubbed him as a witness. If they did, perhaps the prosecution ought to call him instead.

In response to Dr. Pilgrim’s article, Dr. Friedberg said:

In a California that could not convict the clearly guilty OJ Simpson, it is not clear that a conviction can be obtained for the equally guilty Conrad Murray.

That being said, no amount of defense attorney posturing or attempts to create reasonable doubt can ever relieve Murray of his responsibility to have watched and monitored Jackson.

I was interviewed by Michael Flanagan, one of Murray’s defense attorneys, as the first anesthesiologist chosen to be a witness on behalf of Murray’s defense.

Prior to this interview, when I had written the Michael Jackson chapter in ‘Getting Over Going Under,’ I assumed Murray was over his clinical training and expertise giving propofol.

Flanagan dispelled that impression when he described how Murray gave propofol for cardioversions (electrical activity delivered to a heart with atrial rhythm disturbance). Flanagan said, ‘Murray did not even start an intravenous. He simply ‘mainlined’ the propofol directly into a vein.’

I told Flanagan that he impressed me but not at all in the manner in which he had hoped.

There is no word in the English language to describe the recklessness of Murray ‘mainlining’ propofol for cardioversion. Not even a day one intern right our of medical school would be so reckless and cavalier.

The only thing more reckless than Murray’s conduct at Jackson’s home would have been to have taken Jackson up in a plane and pushed him out without a parachute.

‘Mainlining’ propofol along with Murray’s failure to provide child support for the multiple illegitimate children he has fathered with multiple women & his long history of failure to honor other financial obligations leads me to reassess my diagnosis of Murray’s personality.

Murray is the ‘poster child’ for Sociopaths of America.

He is not an ignorant fool but a person who does not think the norms of behavior apply to him.

When he disclaims responsibility for the death of Michael Jackson, it is the sociopath speaking who is convinced of his own words and clearly believes he will convince a jury as well.

Another attempt to rehabilitate Murray’s image to the public included a release saying he had never been sued for malpractice. As if never being sued would be to give testimony to his wonderful doctoring. An informed listener should quickly recognize this record is a greater testimony to a sociopath’s slick talking, not to great doctoring.

Do not believe a single Murray utterance that cannot be independently confirmed.

Sadly, even if convicted and deprived of a license to practice medicine, Murray is unlikely to stop practicing. The rules just don’t apply to him, at least, in his mind anyway.

SOURCE: http://www.prerogativechambers.com/2011/07/08/justice-in-the-face-of-high-profile-cases-the-people-of-the-state-of-california-v-conrad-murray-md-the-michael-jackson-saga/

Also, just two weeks ago, Dr. Friedberg posted the following comment in response to an article on UPI about the trial:

The American system of justice provides for the presumption of innocence until guilt is found.

By PUBLICLY stating, “I gave Michael Jackson propofol,” and “I left the room,” Murray has confessed to the most egregious of anesthesia errors: patient abandonment.

For more than 20 years, tens, if not hundreds, of millions of patients have safely received propofol for 2 fundamental reasons: 1) someone was watching, & 2) someone was monitoring them.

When a patient is abandoned, it is not possible to provide the safe environment for propofol described above. Murray unequivocally created the unsafe conditions that led to Jackson’s avoidable death.

Because of his public statements, Murray can no longer be afforded the customary presumption of innocence.

However, in a state that could not convict an obviously guilty OJ Simpson, do not make book on a manslaughter conviction for the equally culpable Murray.

Many of us have discussed whether Conrad Murray may be a sociopath. After all his patterns of behavior, not only in treating Michael Jackson, but also in the way he’s managed the rest of his life and relationships, indicate that he may well be. According to Dr. Robert Hare, the leading expert on the psychopathic personality, the characteristics of a sociopath are as follows:

  • superficial charm
  • self-centered & self-important
  • need for stimulation & prone to boredom
  • deceptive behavior & lying
  • conning & manipulative
  • little remorse or guilt
  • shallow emotional response
  • callous with a lack of empathy
  • living off others or predatory attitude
  • poor self-control
  • promiscuous sexual behavior
  • early behavioral problems
  • lack of realistic long term goals
  • impulsive lifestyle
  • irresponsible behavior
  • blaming others for their actions
  • short term relationships
  • juvenile delinquency
  • breaking parole or probation
  • varied criminal activity

You can see that many of these given what we’ve seen of Conrad Murray’s behavior both in his private life and as a doctor, do in fact apply. The promiscuous sexual behavior, poor self-control, showing little remorse or guilt, impulsive lifestyle, blaming others for his actions, varied criminal activity (charged with domestic violence and in trouble for non-payment of child support for one of the 7 children he’s had by six different women), self-centered and self-important, deceptive behavior and lying, and so on.

Conrad Murray’s defense had requested a stay in the trial pending reconsideration of Judge Pastor’s decision not to sequester the jury. The stay was today denied. Thus, jury selection for the trial will begin on September 8th.

Below is the schedule for the commencement of the trial as it currently stands:

September 8, 9, 12
Prospective jurors summoned to answer 117-question, 30-page jury questionnaire. Approximately 450 people are expected to be evaluated for jury duty in this trial, 160 on Thursday, September 8th and a similar number on the 9th and 12th.

September 13-16
Attorneys review completed questionnaires

Week of September 19
Jury selection begins

Opening Statements
September 26th or 27, 2011

Location

Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center
210 West Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Hotel Map

•

MORE from MJJ-777 about the the case:

Watch that spin:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7251
Dr. Barry Friedberg: “Michael’s Death, a Predictable, Avoidable Tragedy:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7534
Lisa the Lawyer completely deflates Conrad Murray’s defense:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7363
A suggested alternative to Discovery’s (autopsy re-enactment) programming:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=6868
Conrad Murrays ridiculous attempts at defending the indefensible:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=5453
It wasn’t an accidental overdose:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=4172
Was Michael an Addict?:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=2921
Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=8438
Demerol:
https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7745

And, many additional detailed facts and research covering Michael’s death, propofol, and other drugs can be found on Nikki’s website:

http://gatorgirl277.blogspot.com/


Aug 31 2011

The media’s apparent refusal to speak to experts regarding the Conrad Murray trial

Category: Justice,QuotesSeven @ 1:30 am

•

Media bias?

Media bias?

During the past week or two, there has been an effort on behalf of a few people to have Dr. Patrick Treacy and Dr. Barry L. Friedberg on the Dr. Drew show. We have contacted Dr. Drew’s PR people, who referred us to booking personnel at CNN/Turner. I acquired the contact info for those responsible for booking guests on the Dr. Drew show and sent them a respectful email asking that they invite these two doctors onto the show, and explaining in detail why I think they’d be excellent guests at this time. I received a pleasant, positive response from Ms. Cameron Baird simply thanking me and stating that she would contact these doctors.

Why the Dr. Drew show? Simply because that show was one of the first out the gate recently with many guests on to speak about the Murray trial. Those guests though, with all due respect, are not those who were around Michael for significant amounts of time in very recent years prior to his death. They were not experts in the field of anesthesia (propofol is an anesthetic and that is what killed Michael), and/or not doctors who treated Michael directly and who have first-hand experience in doing so. Drs. Treacy and Friedberg both have some or all of these qualifications. Yet thus far they have not been invited on to the show.

We are also aware that recently, ‘In Session‘/HLN had scheduled Joe Vogel to be on their show but then rather suddenly pulled him and instead chose to have Diane Dimond on. Vogel is the author of a soon-to-be-released book and an expert on Michael Jackson’s creative legacy.

Dr. Drew, and in some cases his guests, seem very interested in presenting one particular angle or point of view regarding the Murray trial and Michael Jackson. That seems to be the angle that Michael was a drug addict, eccentric, demanding, and that he had no nose and bleached his skin. I’m not sure what the latter two items have to do with the Conrad Murray trial but Dr. Drew discussed these on his program.

Dr. Patrick Treacy treated Michael himself for vitiligo and he has affirmed that Michael did indeed have this disease, as does the autopsy. Karen Faye, Michael’s make-up artist for most of his life, has said unequivocally that Michael had a normal nose, not a “prosthetic” one. These are tabloid rumors that have long-since been debunked, so it is disappointing to hear them repeated by a doctor on television who almost certainly knows better, but that is a separate issue.

What is mainly of concern here is that there are other perspectives or points of view regarding the Murray trial – from those who are experts and who have first-hand knowledge of having treated Michael medically in recent years before his death. For instance Dr. Patrick Treacy’s experience with Michael was that he was no addict at all and never asked for, nor was he prescribed any drugs while Dr. Treacy treated him for the 6-8 months Michael lived in Ireland in 2006-2007. Also, Dr. Treacy has stated that no drugs were seen in Michael’s home while there and that Michael refused any anesthesia for any procedures without a qualified anesthetist present. Further, Michael never asked for anesthesia or any drugs outside of legitimate medical procedures.

Dr. Barry L. Friedberg is a board-certified anesthesiologist. He contends that Conrad Murray was very reckless in his treatment of Michael and claimed that “The only thing more reckless Murray could have done was taking Jackson up in an airplane and pushing him out without a parachute.“. Dr. Friedberg has also said that since Conrad Murray has publicly admitted giving Michael propofol and then abandoning his patient, that he is not entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Both of these doctors have very different opinions and perspectives about the Murray trial than Dr. Drew or his other guests thus far. In order to provide the public with  balanced knowledge and varied perspectives on the case, it is puzzling that these doctors have not also been invited onto the show, though. Are guests with certain perspectives deliberately being shut out and avoided by the media and in particular, Dr. Drew/HLN?

Below is the letter (email) I sent to Ms. Cameron Baird on August 23rd regarding inviting Dr. Treacy and/or Dr. Friedberg onto the show:

Hi Cameron,

My name is Seven. I was given your name by Maria Ebrahmji at CNN.

Myself and my fellow writers have been watching the publicity surrounding the Conrad Murray case with great interest and admittedly a great deal of consternation. The reason for this is that one of my fellow writers, Deborah Kunesh, as well as myself, have had the opportunity to interview Dr. Patrick Treacy, who personally treated Michael Jackson in Ireland in 2006-2007, as well as many other people who were around Jackson during his life, and in the period before his death. Dr. Treacy is a highly-respected cosmetic surgeon and humanitarian from Ireland.

I would like to suggest that you invite Dr. Treacy on the Dr. Drew show as I feel he has some very important information to share about Mr. Jackson that the public needs to know, especially with the upcoming trial of Dr. Conrad Murray next month. With Dr. Drew having covered addiction issues so thoroughly in his shows, this might be of much interest to viewers at this time, and a good forum to help get another perspective out there. I hope you will consider it.

Dr. Treacy was interviewed on a radio show where he shared how Michael Jackson had never asked him for any kinds of drugs or medications during the course of their doctor/patient relationship. He never saw any drugs in Jackson’s Ireland home and to his knowledge, he was the only physician treating Mr. Jackson during his stay in Ireland.

Dr. Treacy also has emphatically stated that during the time he treated Mr. Jackson, that Mr. Jackson refused to be put under for any type of procedure with any drug (propofol, for instance, which Dr. Treacy mentions that he used on Mr. Jackson during a procedure) without a qualified anesthetist present. This is very important information that the public should hear because the opposite impression is being given by much of the media, and it would be coming from a doctor who treated Jackson personally.

Here are links to some interviews that Dr. Treacy did recently in regards to this matter:

The below is an interview Dr. Treacy did along with Ms. Deborah Kunesh:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ReflectionsWebsite?feature=mhum#p/f/137/iPEXT8qEc-g

And, the following is a very important (but heretofore censored) interview that was done with New York Times award-winning journalist Aphrodite Jones where Dr. Treacy speaks on this issue:
http://investigation.discovery.com/videos/michael-jacksons-death-questioning-michaels-drug-use.html

I would also suggest that you may want to consider having Dr. Barry L. Friedberg, author of “Getting Over Going Under” on your show. Dr. Friedberg is a board-certified anesthesiologist for 30 years. Since propofol is an anesthetic, he has had some very interesting comments about Jackson’s death. In his book, Dr. Friedberg very clearly states that he feels that Dr. Murray was very irresponsible and that Michael’s death was a predictable, avoidable tragedy. He thoroughly explains the use of propofol and also explains how the different benzodiazapines given to Jackson prior to the propofol enhanced the respiratory depressing effect of the propofol, almost assuring that Jackson would stop breathing and, since no resuscitation was available – that he would die. He explains how Murray’s claim of trying to “wean” Mr. Jackson off of his propofol “addiction” was a statement based in fallacy since propofol is not physically addictive. You can view the pages of that particular chapter of Dr. Friedberg’s book below:

https://www.mj-777.com/?p=7534

We have also been in touch with Dr. Drew’s PR person, Valerie Allen, in regards to inviting Drs. Treacy and Friedberg on Dr. Drew’s HLN show. They indicated that they would speak with the CNN producers about the matter.

Should you choose to invite these two fine doctors onto Dr. Drew’s show, you can contact them via the following:

You can reach Dr. Treacy in Ireland at +0000000000 (NOTE: I’ve omitted Dr. Treacy’s phone here for privacy)

You can reach Dr. Barry Friedberg at one of his California offices:

3535 E Coast Hwy
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
(949) 380-0828

Another of his offices:

City Tower
101 The City Dr S Ste 2150
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 456-5501

Here is Dr. Friedberg’s website:
http://drbarryfriedberg.com/

I realize that this is a lot of information, and so I thank you very much for your time and consideration. If there is someone else we should contact regarding this matter, please advise.

Best Regards,

Seven

This letter was sent one week ago and thus far, Dr. Treacy has not heard from Ms. Baird, nor has Dr. Friedberg. During this past week though, they did cancel Joe Vogel‘s appearance on ‘In Session‘/HLN and replace him with Diane Dimond.

What does it tell us when certain very qualified and knowledgeable guests such as Dr. Treacy and Dr. Friedberg are apparently excluded from being invited onto Dr. Drew/HLN, while others with lesser expertise and lesser (or no) first-hand experience regarding this case are welcomed? It seems to tell us that coverage of more than one particular perspective on the Murray trial – at least by the Dr. Drew show – is intentionally being avoided. And because millions obtain their information from shows such as this on many issues, that should concern us all, no matter which perspective we agree with, because we’re not getting the whole story and therefore we’re also not getting the truth.

Tags: ,


« Previous PageNext Page »