Week 1: winners, losers in Michael Jackson trial

Sat Oct 1, 2011 4:38pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The trial of the doctor accused of responsibility for the June 2009 death of pop star Michael Jackson ended its first week, after an emotional start covered on television and making headlines worldwide.

Dr. Conrad Murray denies a charge of involuntary manslaughter against him in the death of the "Thriller" singer through an overdose of the anesthetic propofol and prescription drugs.

Reuters spoke to trial watchers Marcellus McRae, former federal prosecutor; Mark Geragos, Los Angeles defense attorney who once represented Jackson; and Steve Kron, Los Angeles defense attorney, for their views on the early trial winners and losers. Below is a summary of their opinions:


The trial has presented conflicting final images of the pop star lying dead, slurring speech in a voicemail, singing his classic hits in rehearsal video, then hooked up to an IV and urine collection device. His public image has long been mixed: famed singing star who was acquitted of child molestation charges. Has his image been damaged?

Geragos: "Michael had become such a caricature, and unfairly so, in the last 10 years, I don't think it harms him."

Kron: "Anyone looking at this rationally would have to say this is a picture of a guy who was on highs and lows and extremes of behavior and, if not addicted, then heavily dependent on drugs."

McRae: "All these idiosyncrasies spell one thing, which is vulnerability. Jackson is taken out of his iconic status and humanized as a person."   Continued...

<p>Dr. Conrad Murray watches his former patient, Robert Russell, testify during Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial in the death of pop star Michael Jackson in Los Angeles, September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Al Seib/Pool</p>