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How Long Will Conrad Murray be Sentenced to Jail?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 07, 2011 2:40 PM

So Conrad Murray has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and remanded to the custody of local law enforcement. What's next?

Conrad Murray's sentencing.

Judge Michael Pastor has set a probation and sentencing hearing for November 29, and a definitive decision will be made by December 8th. Before the hearing, both sides will submit memoranda in an attempt to influence the judge's decision.

What will those memoranda contain?

To start, involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 4 years under California law. Both sides will thus present arguments for and against prison time and probation.

The prosecutor will likely point out Murray's lack of remorse and his refusal to take responsibility for his involvement in Michael Jackson's death. He will also attempt to leverage the severity of Murray's behavior into a longer sentence.

Murray's defense attorney will instead present mitigating factors that suggest he deserves a shorter sentence. He will point to the absence of a criminal history and Murray's long career as a medical professional. He will likely also argue that Murray was pressured by Jackson to provide propofol.

In addition to probation and jail time, Judge Pastor ordered both sides to discuss restitution. California law allows the family of a manslaughter victim to recover lost earnings. Given Michael Jackson's incredible earning power, restitution will be a highly contentious part of Conrad Murray's sentencing.

As of now, it's impossible to predict just how Conrad Murray's sentencing hearing will end. But keep in mind that California's prisons are overcrowded, so it's very possible that Murray will serve significantly less time than ordered.

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