As often happens, I have once again found myself on the opposite side of public opinion on a topic.¬† I find this happening more often now.¬† I tried for a bit to be more PC and censuring what I said but I’ll be 30 in a few months and I’m basically on some “fuck it” shit now.¬† So along with my continued mocking of the Occupy Wallstreet protesters, I’ve also taken the unpopular position that I don’t think Dr. Conrad Murray should be going to jail for the death of pop legend Michael Jackson.
Let me back up for a minute.
I’m a fan of Michael Jackson.¬† I love his music.¬† I grew up on his music.¬† I remember as a child waiting with my parents to watch a new MJ music video drop.¬† I once performed Man in the Mirror with my cousin at thanksgiving.¬† So I completely understand that MJ touched people’s lives and that they are still sad that he died.¬† I wanted to put this out there because I don’t want anyone to think that somehow my opinion on this matter has to do with me not liking MJ.¬† Not at all.¬† I love MJ’s music.¬† However, as much of a fan as I am, I’ve always known, even at a young age, that MJ was troubled.¬† When I found out he died from a drug overdose, I wasn’t surprised.¬† It was sad and a tragedy, but any real fan of MJ who was really paying attention to his life knows he going down this path.¬† I mean when he first showed up without really having a nose (I’m not trying to be funny here) that should have been a clear sign that something wasn’t right.¬† I do understand the outpouring of emotions people have over MJ.¬† I really do.
I just don’t think Murray should go to jail.
Now before someone decides to give me the technical definition of involuntary manslaughter, I’m not arguing about that.¬† From what I know of the law (and I am by no means a lawyer),¬† Murray is technically guilty of involuntary manslaughter.¬† I get that.¬† However, there are plenty of instances when something is legally wrong but a general consensus is that there should be no criminal proceedings.¬† The law isn’t really about punishing criminals but doing what’s right in the interest of justice.¬† Remember Genarlow Wilson?¬† There was no doubt that he broke the law by the technical definition of it.¬† But we all could agree that a 17 year old having sex with a 15 year old classmate isn’t exactly keeping up with the spirit of the law and protecting the public.¬† And that’s how I feel about Murray. Murray should have his license taken from him and never be allowed to practice medicine or even do anything related to that field for the rest of his life.¬† I just don’t believe, due the the circumstances of how and why he was hired and what MJ’s wishes were, that Murray is responsible enough for MJ’s death to be charged with it.
I see a lot of people say that Murray betrayed MJ’s trust by not giving him the best service he could as a doctor and by not living up to his oath.¬† While that would be true if this situation happened with you or I as regular patients of Murray, that’s not the same situation as this.¬† If MJ was a regular patient of Murray and his suggestion and method of treatment for MJ’s insomnia was to treat MJ in his own home with propofol, then yes, Murray would be guilty in my eyes.¬† The problem is, Murray wasn’t paid BY MJ to be the same kind of doctor you or I would go to.¬† MJ paid Murray specifically to¬† give him propofol in his home.¬† If I want the best care, I go to the best doctors and the best facilities.¬† MJ knew what he was asking for wouldn’t be given to him at a regular hospital or a doctor.¬† It’s naive to comment about how as a doctor Murray’s job was to help MJ and then pretend that MJ didn’t know that he was paying Murray to wipe his ass with his oath. No grown adult ask specifically for a powerful anesthetic by name, then allows a doctor to administer it to them, in their own home with no real equipment¬† without their consent.¬† MJ knew the risks that were involved in this, and he did it anyway.¬† It’s sad that he did but that is what happened.¬† And I do not believe Murray should bear all of the responsibility for this death.
I don’t believe when 2 people agree to do something stupid and one dies, the other should be charged for their death.¬† As long as the person who died went along with the risk and agreed to take them, if it was what they wanted to do, then so be it.¬†¬† The risk of doing something this stupid is death.¬† If you willingly take that risk and die, then that’s on you and you alone.¬† Sure the other person is a moron for going along with it and in the case of Murray a disgrace to their profession but the responsibility for the death is really 75 -25 with 75 being the person who died.
MJ wasn’t a child.¬† He was a grown man capable of making decisions for what he wanted in life.¬† Yes he was a drug addict but he was also well aware of the risks of the drugs he was asking for.¬† He paid Dr. Murray as much money as he did and went to Murray specifically because he knew a traditional doctor wouldn’t give him what he was asking for.¬† Murray, due to his own arrogance, greed and/or ignorance, obliged.¬† He shouldn’t be allowed to ever practice medicine again.¬† Ever.¬† But to say he’s responsible for MJ’s death and not take into account MJ’s own role in this isn’t bringing justice it’s shifting blame.¬† MJ was the man who bought the Beatles catalog before Paul McCartney could grab it.¬† He was a savvy business man.¬† I find it hard to believe that the man who made power moves like that on a routine basis would pay a doctor $150K a month and not know exactly what kind of care he was getting.¬† Don’t write MJ off as some kind incompetent child.¬† He was a grown man who made a risky grown man decision.¬† It ended up killing him.
I understand that it’s sad to admit the fact that MJ facilitated his own death through his actions but its true.¬† It doesn’t tarnish his legacy though.¬† It’s just a sad chapter of his life.¬† It means he was human.¬† There was a dark side to Michael Jackson and you know what?¬† It’s okay.¬† It¬† doesn’t make me like him any less or change the impact his music had on my life.¬† Does Martin Luther King Jr. being unfaithful to his wife change his position as an icon? No.¬† If Malcolm X did actually have a homosexual encounter at one point, does that change the way I feel about him and his impact on my life?¬† Absolutely not.¬† Pushing all the blame on Dr. Conrad Murray while turning a blind eye to the realities of Michael Jackson’s private life doesn’t do the King of Pop any justice.¬† He was¬† a troubled man who still managed to bless us with timeless music.¬† Instead of ignoring it, we should face it and discuss it and then maybe the next MJ won’t have to live a tortured life, paying people to ignore their ethics to provide a dangerous escape from reality.¬† If you really care about MJ, that’s the kind of justice you would be seeking.¬† Not trying to take a pound of flesh from Dr. Murray.¬† Murray was just the dark wrong answer MJ turned to when no one else decided to put MJ’s well being above their desire for the next concert or album.