This past summer I lost a lot of faith in the US justice system. After watching Casey Anthony walk free, my belief was shaken to the core. Sometimes things go wrong–and it’s with a heavy heart I had to own that sometimes justice isn’t fair or right when left up to individual minds of 12 people with their own baggage attached to the issue.
Then, the trial covering news skipped right into the Conrad Murray trial.
When Michael Jackson died, the world mourned. His music filled stereos and airbrushed memorials bedazzled up from white teeshirts. Michael was the beloved man of music legends. The stuff of stories, almost too good to be true. Born and raised in impoverished Gary, Indiana to a family that had more children than space or money allowed for, Michael Jackson shouldn’t have succeeded. He should have been a statistic, another face in the crowd, another lost soul to factory jobs and empty dreams. And he probably would have been just that–nothing more–expect for the drive of Joe Jackson. The patriarch of the family pushed his children towards superstardom–one belt lashing at a time. He traded childhoods for fame and fortune. Soon, the hit records and promotions, along with the money began rolling in. The Jackson’s were able to escape the small family home and run down streets of a literal dead end and escape they did…they run after their dreams, off to California, the wondrous place that held more in the glittering distance.
But, Michael Jackson had his demons. His eclectic ways made him fodder for the late night talks shows, comical bits and tabloids. His lifestyle became a gateway for legal troubles. He was a real person–and along with that–came real problems.
I liked Michael Jackson–his earlier stuff. I didn’t love him like some did, and so I can look at all of this objectively. The below photo is one from my own personal collection–taken in the days following the death of Michael Jackson outside his childhood home in Gary, Indiana
Michael Jackson was a lot of things…a talent, a genius, a kind man…but also, a drug addict. Whether it was interest or a coping mechanism…his name opened doors for treatment average folks wouldn’t have access too.
Conrad Murray, like many other doctors in Hollywood, are struck with fancy names and big paychecks. The “do no harm” credence falters just a bit under the hollywood lights. And while I abhor abuse of power…I’m not sure he killed Michael Jackson.
In my mind–the guilt is shared. Manslaughter seems reasonable, given the circumstances surrounding the death. But, Jackson was a willing participant–asking for his “milk” and laying down for it.
Stay tuned for my reaction to the verdict….
A doctors code of ethics is first to do no harm. I have a slightly skewed view of this–being as that my father is a doctor, and know how seriously he took that. I’ve always believed that a good doctor will work in your best interests.
The verdict is fair. Murray make grave mistakes…as a professional, he should have known better, as a person he just didn’t do the right thing. At the end of the day, when the dust settles and we’re left with only the facts, we have to admit…his “treatments” did play a major role in Michael Jackson’s death. And, he should be held accountable for that.
My only hope now is that Michael’s children can move forward with their lives. I’m sure losing a parent is incredibly hard–and while they’ll never full heal–I hope they can find peace.