The trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, will go to jury today after six weeks of trial hearings.
In closing arguments yesterday, prosecutors said that Jackson "paid with his life" for Dr. Murray's negligence, while the doctor's defense maintained that he was being held responsible for the singer's own actions. "They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," defense attorney Ed Chernoff told the jury. "If it were anybody else but Michael Jackson, would this doctor be here today?"
Chernoff also urged the jury to set aside the fact that Jackson was a major pop star and celebrity. "If you are going to hold Dr. Murray responsible, don't do it because it's Michael Jackson," he said. "This is not a reality show. This is reality."
Prosecutor David Walgren criticized the "junk science" of the defense in his closing statements, and insisted that the doctor behaved irresponsibly before and after Jackson's death. "Conrad Murray gave him propofol and abandoned him," Walgren told the jury. "Conrad Murray is criminally liable. Justice demands a guilty verdict."