By Christian Jackson
America, here we go again. The media has been allowed to infect yet another American courtroom.
Dr. Conrad Murray is accused of administering the fatal dose of the painkiller Propofol, which led to the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009. On Monday, February 7, Judge Michael Pastor agreed to let cameras into the courtroom – provided they don’t interfere with legal proceedings. The judge said he wanted the “absolute least intrusive placement” of TV cameras. F.Y.I., Judge Pastor, cameras are always “intrusive,” regardless of their placement. If that fact is not clear, just take a look at the victim’s life. Yes, the victim, the forgotten person in this unfortunate episode. Michael Jackson lived a life tormented by cameras. Every moment of his existence was sacrificed to the limelight. It consumed his childhood, corroded his adult life, and will not be denied in his death. Jackson hated cameras so much that he covered his face, and the face of his children, on those rare occasions when he would go out in public. The cameras contributed to the pain and anxiety that led to Michael’s dependence on sleeping aids. How terribly backward is it that the “innocent-until-proven-guilty” defendant, hired by Jackson to provide an escape from his torment, is now subjected to the very same torment at his fair and impartial trial?
I am by no means a Conrad Murray supporter. His actions are somewhere between negligence and callousness. However, whether this jury convicts him or not, the American public has already and forever passed judgment on his life. He will be judged by: whether his reactions to testimony exude innocence, whether his tears are truthful, whether he is fearful. These are not the issues a jury should be considering. But an American public, with no legal training or direction, has little else to contemplate.
If convicted, Conrad Murray is unlikely to serve a single second in prison. However the judge, the media, and public acquiescence have ensured that, regardless of the trial’s outcome, Conrad Murray will forever be a prisoner of his own infamy. For the rest of his life, he will be known as “Dr. Death” – the man that murdered the “King of Pop.” Life will be constant evasion of ignorant yokels that will occasionally make the connection, Jackson fans willing to pick a fight, and contrived lawsuits. If fame is a fickle mistress, infamy is a crippling shrew. This is a truth with which Michael Jackson was acutely familiar. Thanks to Tinsel Town justice, Conrad Murray will have a lifetime to bond a scornful acquaintance.