November 05, 2011


If you are interested in reading the jury instructions in its entirety, click here

Presumption of Innocence and the Burden of Proof

Just because Conrad Murray is charged with a crime doesn’t mean that he is guilty. He is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the proof that leaves you with an abiding conviction that the charge is true. Beyond a reasonable doubt does NOT mean no doubt.


Evidence is sworn witness testimonies and the exhibits admitted into evidence.

The remarks by the prosecution or the defense attorneys are NOT evidence, their opening and closing statement are NOT evidence. The questions by the attorney to the witnesses are NOT evidence, the witness answers ARE evidence. Don’t assume something is true just because one of the attorneys remarked that it was true. The stipulations agreed by both the prosecution and the defense must be accepted as facts by the jurors.

Facts could be direct, circumstantial evidence or combination of both.

Direct evidence can prove a fact by itself. For example if a witness testified that it was raining when he came into the court house, his testimony is direct evidence that it was raining. 

Circumstantial evidence don't prove a fact directly but it is evidence of another fact(s)
from which you could logically conclude the truth of the fact. For example, if a witness testify that he saw someone come inside wearing a raincoat covered with drops of water, that testimony is a circumstantial evidence that it may support a conclusion that it was raining outside.

BOTH direct and circumstantial evidence are acceptable types of evidence. BUT if relying on a circumstantial evidence to conclude that a fact necessary to find Conrad Murray guilty has been proven, the jurors must ensure that the prosecution proved that fact beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jurors can draw 2 reasoble conclusions based a circumstantial evidence; one pointing that he is guilty, another pointing that he is innocent, the jurors MUST go with the one that points to innocence.

The jurors decide on the credibility of a witness. They can believe all, part of none of a witness testimony. Jurors are to use common sense to decide. Don't simply assume that a testimony is false just b/c of inconsistincies; sometimes people can honestly forget things. If a witness lied about something significant, then the jurors consider NOT believing that witness' testimony but the witness lied about some thing but told the truth on something, jurors should consider believing in parts that they feel are truthful.

If an expert was asked by an attorney an hypothetical question, it is up to the jurors to decide if the assumed fact has been proven.

Character witnesses for Conrad Murray testified that he is "attentive, informative, careful, cautious, compassionate, loyal and knowledgable physician and has a good reputation for financial generosity and selflessness". Evidence of Murray's good character by itself CAN create a reasonable doubt but the evidence for Murray's good character can be countered by the evidence for his bad character for the same trait.

It is Conrad Murray's constutional right NOT to testify. The jurors are NOT to make a negative inference that he did not testify. Conrad Murray's LAPD interview IS evidence but jurors must decide how much importance it carries.

If you find that Conrad Murray made a false or misleading statement before this trial relating to the charged crime, it may show his guilt of conscious and the jurors MAY consider this in determining his guilt.

If you find that Conrad Murray tried to hide evidence, it may show he was aware of his guilt but that conduct in itself can NOT prove that he is guilty. Jurors must decide on the importance of such conduct. 

Involuntary Manslaughter

The People are charging Conrad Murray with this charge for 2 reasons:
1-      He committed a lawful act with criminal negligence
2-      He failed a perform a legal duty with criminal negligence

To prove that he committed a lawful act with criminal negligence, the People must prove:
1-      He committed a lawful act but acted with criminal negligence
2-      His act led to Michael Jackson’s death

Lawful act with criminal negligence = administration of Propofol

Criminal negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention or mistake in judgment. A person acts with a criminal negligence when:
1-      He acts in a reckless way that creates high risk of death
2-      A reasonable person would’ve known that acting that way would create such risk

In another words, a person acts with criminal negligence when he is SO different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of his act.

To prove that Conrad Murray is guilty, the People must prove:
1-      He had a legal duty to Michael Jackson
2-      He failed to perform his legal duty
3-      His failure to perform his legal duty was criminally negligent
4-      His failure to perform his legal duty caused Michael Jackson’s death

A physician who assumed the responsibility to treat or care for a patient HAS
a legal duty to treat and care for that patient.

A person fails to perform a legal duty with criminal negligence when:
1- He fails to perform a legal duty in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death
2- A reasonable person would’ve known that acting or failing to perform a legal duty in that way would create a high risk of death.

An act or failure to perform a legal duty causes the death if the death is the direct, natural and probable consequences of the act or the failure to perform
a legal duty and the death would NOT have happened without the act or the failure to perform a legal duty. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes.

(blogger- Conrad Murray was a physician who assumed Michael Jackson’s care. He, therefore, had a legal duty to care for Michael Jackson. His failure to perform his legal duty is the direct cause of Michael Jackson’s death which would not have happened if it wasn’t for Conrad Murray’s deviations from the standard of care. A reasonable doctor in his place would have known that the dangerous setting Conrad Murray “treated” Mr. Jackson was a recipe for disaster. We had doctor after doctor testify that they would NEVER do what Conrad Murray did. Even the defense witness, Dr White testified that no amount of money could pursue him to do what Conrad Murray did. Ed Chernoff said in his opening “well Michael Jackson received Propofol for two months and he didn’t die. See, it was not a dangerous circumstance.' Mr. Chernoff’s argument is as absurd as someone who killed while playing Russian roulette saying “well when I pulled the trigger for the first 4 times, there was no danger.” Propofol…to treat insomnia…bottle in the bag…no infusion pump....gravity dripping an anesthesia as a sleep aid…in a bedroom…
..this is bizarre as Hell. Not to mention a recipe for death.)

An act or the failure to perform a legal duty causes the death if it is a SUBSTANTIAL FACTOR in causing the death. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. It does NOT have to be the only factor in the death.

(blogger: Conrad Murray does NOT have to be the only cause of Michael Jackson’s death, he just has to be a substantial cause of the death but he has to be a CAUSE.)

(blogger- The key word in this trial is 'causation.' Following 2 illustrations were used by Ed Chernoff in his closing argument. As per the law, simply being criminally negligent does NOT mean that Conrad Murray caused Michael Jackson's death.

Did Murray's criminal negligence CAUSED MJ death. Did the actions or failure to perform a legal duty by Murray CAUSE MJ death? For example person A shots and kills person B. If A didn't shot B, would B die? Answer is no. A CAUSED B's death.

Following is the jury instructions to guide the jurors in deciding whether or not Conrad Murray CAUSED Michael jackson's death.)

To relieve the defendant of criminal liability, an intervening cause must be UNforeseeable and extraordinary occurrence. A defendant is criminally liable if either the possible consequence might reasonably have been contemplated or the defendant should have foreseen the possibility of the harm of the kind that could result from his act. Even if Michael Jackson himself caused his death but if Conrad Murray is the SUBSTANTIAL CAUSE, he is legally responsible for Michael Jackson’s death.

(blogger: To explain intervening cause imagine A injured B and as B was being transported into an ambulance, B was struck by a lightning and died. The lightning is the intervening cause and A can NOT be the cause of B's death.

In Conrad Murray Trial, the defense claim that IF Michael Jackson self administered
(--->intervening cause) then Conrad Murray can NOT be the cause of his death. But the juror instructions state that IF the intervening cause was foreseeble then Conrad Murray IS still the cause of death EVEN IF Michael Jackson self administered. Conrad Murray stated that Michael Jackson “likes to push” Propofol and that he was getting addicted to it. Intervening cause = Michael Jackson self administration of Propofol. In this case, leaving the patient who is addicted to Propofol, who likes to push Propofol, who begged for Propofol all nite with an access to Propofol is as ridiculous as leaving a gun next to someone who talked of suicide all night. The possible consequence was very much expected and foreseeable and Murray should've foreseen the possibility)


If the juror believes that Conrad Murray, without criminal negligence, accidently killed Michael Jackson, he must be acquitted.


In order to find Conrad Murray guilty,
1-      ALL of the jurors must agree that the People proved beyond a reasonable that at least ONE act or failure to perform legal duty by Murray cause MJ’s death
2-      ALL the jurors must agree on the above & the verdict MUST be unanimous


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