Was justice served, I think not !
The jury has returned the verdict, Dr. Conrad Murray last physician of the iconic pop star Michael Jackson is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. It is true that the inexplicability of Jackson’s final hours were laid bare in this trial . The extent of his dependence on substances proved shocking.
It is common that whenever a star die we the people want answers. It was no different on August 15, 1977 when the brief father in law of Jackson, the enigmatic Elvis Presley died. The theories around his death ran wild and fast as a culprit was sought to be blamed even though he died by himself in his house. Many years later the rumors came and gone but the questions remain unanswered at least for those who believe Elvis didn’t take a toxic cocktail that resulted in his untimely death.
The truth, whenever someone as colossal and humongous in stardom dies at a relative young age questions will be raised as to who is responsible for his death? It simply becomes a quest to find someone guilty regardless to what. Often the entire lifestyle of the person is discounted as a means for potential cause, as those who know pontificate someone did it.
We undeniably have to respect the verdict that found against Conrad Murray, notwithstanding the fact that it is my view on appeal the verdict will not stand.
Whilst no finding may ever bring back the unequaled in status King of Pop, it helps those who want to blame someone for his death and provides an opportunity for closure so I would hope.
I have lost more respect for the Jackson family who knowing of Michael’s elongated condition proved less present to lend a hand, to help him get help. Till today they think by denying Michael’s addiction history and ways, will somehow save Michael’s legacy. Michael Jackson for all of us across a number of generations remains a beloved icon yet we know he was not perfect so to try and tell us something else is sophistic thinking to we live on Mars is not doing justice to Michael Jackson’s legacy. He was indeed human hurting and in excruciating pain the same I argue his family who enjoys every bit of limelight for their diverse image reasons and economic welfare proved insensitive to.
Yet to absolve a Michael from irresponsibility is necessarily not to be truthful. I cannot speak on behalf of a Murray, for he had his own hand in maintaining the irresponsibility of a Michael. He made blunders as a physician particularly of we must deal with praxis on that dreadful night. It is clear he flouted the Hippocratic oath, the same he swore to uphold.
I shall however argue that by the time he became MJ’s physician the culture of substance abuse on the part of Jackson was well engrained. It is my view that much as we seek to apportion blame on a Murray, in the final analysis those who shout today justice is, done absolves Jackson of his own role, a role that attests to how many aliases he used to feed his precarious addiction habits.
If the Jackson family shout today justice is served they must contend with the truth that Murray did not introduce a Jackson to substance abuse, that a Murray in all probability tried to do what a controlling patient demanded. If Murray is at fault it is because he allowed his appreciation and who Michael Jackson was to interfere with his role of being a physician.
We all know how demanding our celebrated stars can become, we read of how others confirm the irresponsible habits a Michael Jackson as one who begged and demanded demerol to fall asleep, even when medical staff was advising that to be a violation.
Murray’s sin is perhaps his lack of discerning as to what his fundamental role as physician was as oppose to his admiration for a Jackson. I can see how the stature and who Michael is could have interfered with anyone who was in close proximity to him. It is precisely this issue that I think is lost in this case.
The question may be advanced am I advocating a blanket innocence on the part of a Conrad Murray certainly not yet I think he is made the fall guy for a history of addiction and substance abuse that predates him serving Michael with vaults of propofol.
I can appreciate the need to find closure on the part of family and fans. I equally can prove sensitive to the unanswered questions that were born in the aftermath of June 25, 2009. I can appreciate the torture a Michael Jackson by his own admition had been subjected to.
I hear the cry of a soul culled as his last ever impromptu recording in slur stutter pleads for a hospital for the children that needs it so desperately. We all know Michael love children and for all doubters who wanted to make him out to be a beast feeding of innocent children this last recording as captured by a Murray attests to the sincerity and genuineness of one who snares to help others who are vulnerable though he was in his own pain.
Yet as much all the aforementioned weighs heavy I disagree with the jury even if the case is not murder but a more palatable culpable involuntary manslaughter charge with a much lesser sentence, Dr. Murray has by default become the face of the “perpetrator” whom family and fans want to keep accountable for this untimely and less easily accepted death of an icon of the 20/21st century exemplified in performance.
I guess someone unlike in the case of a Elvis is held accountable, someone can be blamed, someone will serve jail time this night, but if we can call this justice we definitely cannot face tomorrow.
Bishop Clyde N. S. Ramalaine
Independent observer author of “Through the Prism of My Soul” An Anthology of Contemporary Political Commetary and Analysis