Karma! Yes, it happened exactly as predicted. Conrad Murray, “The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson,” became indeed a man caught in his own trap. Of all the things Judge Pastor mentioned in his scathing and blistering speech at today’s sentencing, two things especially stood out to me-two things I was very happy to hear. One was the calling out of Murray about the audio recording. Pastor stated what many of us have been thinking all along, that the only possible purpose for that recording was potential blackmail. Pastor referred to it as Murray’s “insurance policy” should his relationship with Michael Jackson have turned sour at some future point.
The only possible innocent explanation would have been if the recording was supposed to serve some sort of therapeutic purpose, but Murray effectively squashed that defense when he told Savannah Guthrie that the recording was made accidentally. Had there been a legit purpose for making the recording, Murray would have surely wanted the world to know that. But instead, he tried to weasle his way out of it with a lie that no one was buying.
Which, speaking of the Guthrie interview, brings us to the second important thing addressed by Pastor: Murray’s media interviews and “faux documentary.” I love how he took Murray’s very own words in that crock and turned them into a weapon used against him. Murray’s confession that he had no remorse for Michael’s death (though not exactly a stunning revelation, since we’ve known this all along!) was the stupidest move he could possibly have made in his own interest. Ironic, since the whole purpose of that crock-we can safely assume-was to serve his own interest. Instead, the only function it served was to become the testimony he never gave in court. We were concerned about MSNBC giving Murray a platform to testify without benefit of cross-examination. As it turned out, no cross-examination was even needed! Murray did quite well at incriminating himself with no help from David Walgreen whatsoever.
Conrad Murray apparently thought he would be exonerated somehow by his interviews and crockumentary. Perhaps he was under some impression that he could exonerate himself in the court of public opinion, even if convicted by the court. But I don’t think he scored himself any points there, either. Most, I think, simply saw it as a self-serving and delusional indulgence. Anyway, that is territory I’ve already covered in depth in my three-part review “The Man Who Killed Michael Jackson: Caught In His Own Trap so I won’t belabor the point here. Let’s just say that trap must have been very painful when it snapped shut!
I’ve heard some question if the reason for Pastor’s extreme harshness is an intent to “make an example” of Murray. I think that is possibly true. I also still think Murray is just a small part of a bigger picture. I think in some ways-whether fairly or not-he became the scapegoat and fall guy for the many, many vultures, predators, and enablers in Michael’s life. But I don’t feel pity for Murray, and any potential pity I might have been inclined to feel was obliterated by his actions in granting those interviews and doing that crockumentary.
So today has marked the end of a very long journey, but it’s not really over. For me, there are still too many unanawered questions regarding Michael’s death, and probably always will be. This is just the close of one chapter. As tomorrow dawns, there is still much work to do. Michael’s name and legacy remains tainted by the allegations made against him. And there is a reason why I have an entire category dedicated to “The Never Ending Media War.” Because it is just that…never ending, that is. And though Michael is gone, his vision for a better, more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, and the good of the planet is still waiting to be realized. There is still so much work to do, going forward.
One thing’s for sure, being a Michael Jackson fan never gets dull, or boring!
But tonight I do feel that maybe Michael can rest a little easier in peace. Justice? Well, the sad reality is that it’s probably as close to justice as it’s going to get. However, I think if I am honest with myself, it is not so much about Murray’s actual sentence-whether he does, in fact, serve out four years in a state prison, or in a County jail, or even half of that term. Rather, it’s about the very powerful statement that was made to the world today; something the world very much needed to hear. I don’t know if others feel this way, but for me, it has been more about the symbolic function this verdict and sentencing represents. The message has been sent loud and clear to the world that Michael Jackson’s death was a homicide; that someone other than Michael Jackson was responsible for his death. A 50-year-old man, with a healthy heart and no major health problems, did not have to die.
It was a strongly worded message the world needed to hear.
And thanks to Judge Pastor, it was heard loud and clear.