Conrad Murray may serve only two years of his four-year sentence due to a combination of factors that are still being evaluated by law officers in Los Angeles, Calif.
Because of California's Realignment Act of 2011, passed on a Supreme Court order to address prison overcrowding, nonviolent felons are not required to go to state prison, and can serve their sentence in county jail. (In Murray's sentencing earlier Tuesday, Judge Michael Pastor alluded to his inability to send Murray to state prison.)
Because of jail overcrowding, Murray may only serve half of his sentence.
There is going to be a tremendous number of people that should be in jail and will not be incarcerated, Los Angeles County Sheriff spokesman Steve Whitmore told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month. This is the kind of story that will play out over and over again.
On Tuesday, Whitmore told the Times that details of Murray's incarceration were still being worked out.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who is opposed to the new California law, told the Times he is considering an appeal that will require Murray to serve the full four years of his sentence in state prison.
It appears that Cooley may have an ally in Judge Pastor should be pursue an appeal of Murray's sentence as dictated by the Realignment Act.
Prior to announcing his sentencing decision, Judge Pastor repeatedly explained that he viewed Jackson's death as a result of persistent poor judgment on the part of Dr. Murray, who he believed violated his sworn obligation in exchange for money, fame, prestige. The judge characterized Murray's treatment of the pop star, in regard to how he acquired and administered the potent anesthetic propofol, as a cycle of horrible medicine, adding, It is almost inconceivable that Murray would have persisted in this pattern for such a long amount of time.
The judge criticized Murray for unconscionable lies, attempting to destroy evidence, and sophisticated, intentional deception.
One can't help but be offended by the circumstances in this case, Pastor said.
Why give probation to someone who is offended by the whole idea that that person is even before the court? Pastor said. You can't have probation when there isn't an acknowledgement of rehabilitation and responsibility.
I looked valiantly for efforts to satisfy myself that while Dr. Murray was eligible for probation, he was suitable for probation, Pastor explained.
Ultimately, Pastor decided that Murray was not suitable: [Murray] unquestionably violated the trust and confidence of his patient on a repeated, nightly basis, and engaged in a sophisticated scheme to obtain propofol through insidious means.