|Personal physician faces four years in prison for his hand in the death of the pop star. |
Michael Jackson's personal doctor has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the singer's death following a six-week trial.
Dr Conrad Murray had pleaded not guilty to giving the singer a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol, which was ruled as the main cause of the pop star's June 25, 2009 death.
Prosecutors had argued Murray was grossly negligent in administering propofol to help Jackson sleep. Defence attorneys claimed Jackson delivered the fatal dose of propofol to himself.
Murray, 58, did not testify at the Los Angeles trial and could face up to four years in prison when the judge decides his sentence at a later date.
Murray swallowed briefly upon hearing the verdict on Monday, but otherwise looked impassive. Outside the court, more than 100 Jackson fans erupted in cheers.
The jury deliberated for about nine hours before reaching its unanimous verdict.
Jackson was found lifeless at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, age 50, about three weeks before he was scheduled to begin a series of concerts in London aimed at returning the pop star to the limelight.
Paramedics tried to revive the singer and rushed his body to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. His death was ruled to have come from an overdose of sedatives and propofol, which is normally used in surgery.
Murray admitted giving Jackson a small dose of propofol to help him sleep. But his lawyers argued at the trial that the singer was dependent on the drug and that Jackson likely gave himself a extra, fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic, as well as swallowing a handful of sedatives, without Murray's knowledge.
Prosecutors argued Murray was guilty of gross negligence for administering the powerful drug in a home setting, failing to monitor Jackson, delaying calling emergency services, and failing to tell medical personnel he gave the singer propofol.
Inter-faith group MCCBCHST has no plans to withdraw its call to the authorities to stop the slaughtering of cows in schools and public places despite growing anger from Muslim groups and authorities.
"We have no wish to add further comment either. We have said what we
wanted to say and that's it. We see no reason to withdraw any part of
our statement," Father Thomas Philips, vice president of the Malaysian
Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and
Taoism told Malaysia Chronicle.
Every faith is supreme
MCCBCHST had issued its call just days before the Hari Raya Haji
celebrated over the weekend, where Muslims ritually slaughtered cows and
distributed the meat to other Muslims.
In a statement entitled Respect the Religious Sensitivities in Schools, the council had called on the authorities to halt the slaughter at schools and other public places accessible to all faiths.
we are concerned that a ritualistic sacrificing of cows in conjunction
with the Hari Raya Haji celebrations is proposed to be held in schools
on a school day in the presence of students. We hold a dim view of this
purported activity in front of our multi-racial and multi-cultural
student population as it ignores the sensitivity of our school-going
children and the larger mixed Malaysian society," it said in its
statement of November 4.
"We call upon the relevant authorities to respect the sensitivities
of our multi-religious society and implore them to halt this ritualistic
ceremony in our schools,institutions of higher learning and other
public places. We hold that the public places, especially schools, are
not the right place for the performance of this ritual that pertains
only to the Muslim community.It does not augur well for the promotion of
harmony and peace among our varied peoples."
Nonetheless, the heated reaction from Muslim leaders in the country,
especially those in the government, does not augur well for multiracial
harmony. Saying they felt hurt by the response from these quarters,
Christians said it underscored the scant respect shown to the
non-Muslims and a growing religious arrogance that boded ill for the
"Islam is supreme to Muslims. But only as supreme as Christianity is
to the Christians or Hinduism to the Hindus. This is sheer bad manners
and shameful conduct on the part of Muslim authorities. As though they
can do what they like without considering the sensitivities of others," S
Peters, a Christian lay-leader at a large Catholic church in Petaling
"This is especially difficult to accept when the non-Muslims are
forced to abide by strict rules not to impinge on Islam. But it works
both ways. Respect must be mutual or why should we respect you?"
Heated response from Muslims
was referring to comments made by Deputy Minister in the Prime
Minister's Department Mashitah Ibrahim, who accused the MCCBCHST of not
respecting the rights of Muslims or the position of Islam as
Malaysia's official religion.
"To me, the issue was purposely
created to raise racial sentiment. The ritual of sacrifice has been
practiced for a long time and has never been questioned by any party,"
Berita Harian had quoted Mashitah as saying.
"In a multi-racial society, other religions should respect the rights
of Islam like how Muslims respect the rights and freedom of
non-Muslims. This issue should not have arisen if all ethnic groups
respect each other and understand the spirit of living in a
While Mashitah spoke a lot about mutual respect, she did not deny or
make any clarification as to whether schools and public places had
indeed been used to slaughter the animals.
Meanwhile, Perlis Mufti Juanda Jaya is the latest to wade into the issue.
disappointed with MCCBCHST's official statement that directs Muslims
not to make public sacrifice. This is clearly directing the rituals of
other religions. It is better not to interfere. If there is any
unhappiness or disturbance, it is better to resolve it behind closed
doors. Malaysians have achieved independence and lived peacefully for
so long, so don't make it an issue," Juanda said in a statement
Like Mashitah, Juanda may have decided to play to the Muslim gallery
at the expense of fairness and give-and-take. For example, he did not
once mention the sensitivities of the Hindus and Buddhists.
The annual Qurban or slaughter is usually done on mosque grounds, but
there have been plans for it to be held on the premises of at least
two schools in Kuala Lumpur.
"Just as we do not serve
pork or alcohol when we invite Muslims to our homes or events, we
expect them to respect us back too and not serve meats that are not
'halal' to us. But nowadays everything is so racial and getting from bad
to worse, it is a real shame," said Peters.