Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
Jury Finds Michael Jackson's Doctor Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter; Michael Jackson's Doctor Remanded Until Sentencing
Aired November 7, 2011 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now: breaking news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dr. Murray, you are charged in count one of this felony.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's unconscious, he is not breathing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, he is not breathing, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did unlawfully and without malice kill Michael Joseph Jackson, a human being.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did anybody witness what happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, just the doctor, sir. The doctor has been the only one here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In unlawful manner.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's all B.S. Dr. Murray is the fall guy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This offense is called involuntary manslaughter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is pumping the chest, but he is not responding to anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The maximum penalty for this offense is four years in state prison.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.
CONRAD MURRAY, DEFENDANT: I am an innocent man. I therefore plead not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: In just minutes, we will find out the verdict in the manslaughter trial of Dr. Michael Jackson -- of Michael Jackson's doctor, I should say. More breaking news, a fourth woman is now making allegations of sexual harassment against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. She is speaking out about them in explicit detail.
Lots of news happening today. We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: And we're following the breaking news this hour, a verdict to be announced any minute now in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician, who was with the singer when he died from an overdose of a powerful anesthetic.
You are looking at live pictures outside the courthouse right now. We have just heard that Dr. Murray is now inside the courthouse. Momentarily, we will be getting the verdict, innocent or guilty.
Let's go straight to the courthouse right now in Los Angeles.
CNN's Casey Wian is there. He's been covering the trial from day one.
All right, so set the scene for us, Casey, right now. Momentarily, cameras will be inside. We will get the verdict.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Wolf. Attorneys on both sides are in the courtroom. Dr. Conrad Murray is in the courtroom. And my colleague Ted Rowlands is in the courtroom. He will be able to give us updates on that verdict when it comes.
But we will be able to see that live. Here outside the courthouse, you can see behind me hundreds of people have gathered now, most of them Michael Jackson fans, awaiting news of this verdict. They are very, very anxious, very, very excited though that this verdict has finally come down. Many of them believe -- they shout things like murderer. They believe that Dr. Conrad Murray was in fact undercharged in this case.
The specific charges though that he is facing are involuntary manslaughter. The prosecution claims that Dr. Conrad Murray injected Michael Jackson with a fatal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol. They say that he was using that drug in a home setting outside of a hospital to treat Michael Jackson's insomnia, which is not what that drug is intended for.
The defense claimed throughout this case that Michael Jackson was a drug addict who very likely could have injected the propofol himself. The prosecution countered that even if Michael Jackson injected himself, Conrad Murray is still libel for his death because he is a doctor who should have known not to provide Michael Jackson with such a powerful drug.
Now, this case has lasted since late September. Jurors heard from 49 different witnesses. And they listened by all accounts very carefully to all that testimony. I was in the courtroom for some of the time. Other of my colleagues who were in there for longer than me watched the jury very closely and said that they seemed to be a very tight- knit group, paid very close attention.
And so they are not at all surprised that this verdict was reached in a total of 10 hours of deliberation time over just two days, Wolf.
BLITZER: What are the experts over there suggesting? Ten hours, the jury deliberating, in a case like this, does that seem to suggest they will find him innocent or guilty?
WIAN: Well, of course, you never know in these cases, as we have seen in other high-profile cases in the past.
But they do suggest that the fact that the deliberations took less than two days, the fact that the jury did not request any testimony to be read back, the jury did not have any questions for the judge, the experts are saying that that probably indicates a guilty verdict, but you never know, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let me ask Jeffrey Toobin, he's standing by as well, our senior political analyst.
No way to predict. We could all be stunned. It's happened many times in the past, Jeff.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: It certainly has.
I was quite wrong on the day of the O.J. Simpson verdict when they came back after all those months of testimony, after just a couple of hours of deliberation. You remember we waited overnight. They said they had reached a verdict. And then we all had all night to speculate. I thought they were going to convict. And I was, of course, wrong.
Here, given the way the evidence went in, given the smooth deliberations, usually that suggests a guilty verdict, but except when it doesn't. Sometimes, we just can't predict.
BLITZER: Let me play for our viewers who weren't following it minute by minute some of the closing arguments that we heard in recent days from both sides. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: As I said at the outset of this, this morning, Michael Jackson trusted Conrad Murray. He trusted him with his life. He paid with his life.
Conrad Murray, in multiple instances, deceived, lied, obscured. But more importantly, Conrad Murray acted with criminal negligence. Conrad Murray looked out for himself, and himself alone. He wanted this employment. He didn't want to lose the employment, so he had to say yes.
But that's not what a doctor does. That is not what a doctor does. That is antithetical to the legal obligation, the ethical obligation, the legal duty of a doctor. Conrad Murray's actions directly caused the death of Michael Jackson.
But the people do not need to prove that. All that needs to be proven to find criminal liability on the part of Dr. Murray is that he was a substantial factor in the death. And as it relates to any intervening causation, as I already explained, it was not extraordinary, it was not unforeseeable.
Even if you accept the defense version of the facts, even if one of you accepts that version of the facts, Conrad Murray is criminally guilty of involuntary manslaughter, because he was a substantial factor. And any consequences that rose out of that were entirely ordinary and foreseeable.
Defense counsel will have an opportunity to speak and then I will have an opportunity to speak again briefly following that. I want to thank you for your attention. I want to assure you, as I do now and as I will at the close of my closing argument, I will be asking that you return with a verdict of guilty as to the sole count of involuntary manslaughter, because Conrad Murray caused the death of Michael Jackson.
Conrad Murray abandoned Michael Jackson. Conrad Murray gave him propofol and abandoned him. Conrad Murray is criminally liable. Justice demands a guilty verdict.
ED CHERNOFF, ATTORNEY FOR CONRAD MURRAY: I understand it's a touchy thing to say.
Nobody wants to say it. But I want you to take this case out of Michael Jackson. Take it away from Michael Jackson. Think about that. Take it away. Let's put it somewhere else. Let's put it in a psych hospital. Some patient kills himself. Put it in a hospital where some patient breaks into a cabinet. Put it in a family situation where somebody overdoses. Put it anywhere you like.
But at least if you make -- if you're going to hold Dr. Murray responsible, don't do it because it's Michael Jackson. This is not a reality show. It's reality. And the decisions you make isn't making good TV. It's how it affects real human beings and people that love them.
So I hope that you do the right thing and find Dr. Murray not guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Ed Chernoff, the defense attorney, David Walgren, the prosecutor in this case.
We're waiting. Momentarily, the judge will come out, the judge, Michael Pastor, and have the verdict from the jury.
Jeffrey Toobin is watching all this unfold.
Explain as best as you can, Jeffrey, the burden of proof. This involuntary manslaughter, if convicted, he would be eligible for up to four years in prison. But explain the burden of proof as far as involuntary manslaughter, a conviction is concerned.
TOOBIN: Involuntary is the key word here. We're used to murder cases, homicide cases, where the charge is intentional killing.
The L.A. district attorney's office did not decide to make that charge. They are charging involuntary manslaughter, which only requires that the government prove that Conrad Murray acted recklessly and caused Michael Jackson's death. It is not a case about intending to kill Michael Jackson.
No one argues that Conrad Murray intentionally killed him. All the prosecution has to show is that he behaved recklessly, that his behavior was well outside the standard of care, and that his bad doctoring killed Michael Jackson, those two things, bad -- you know, reckless behavior, plus causation. And the defense has challenged both of those things. They said, he did not behave recklessly. His standard -- his care was perhaps not great, but within the ordinary course of care of care, and Michael Jackson's own behavior, rather than Conrad Murray, was the cause of his death.
That is really what this case is being fought about.
BLITZER: But there was a lot of expert testimony, Jeffrey, from other doctors, saying, just administering this anesthetic, propofol, inside a private bedroom outside of a hospital, that that in and of itself is enough to convict.
And that's why most of us who have followed this case think he is going to be convicted. Given Conrad Murray's statement to investigators that he was trying to wean Michael Jackson off of propofol, when you compare that to the fact that he bought effectively bathtubs full of propofol, this extremely unusual, dangerous, powerful narcotic, he bought all this enormous amount of it, and administered it and made it available to Michael Jackson, that's why Conrad Murray's argument is very hard to make, is because, at one hand, he is saying he is weaning it.
On the other hand, he bought all of this. And you have these experts saying propofol is not a responsible drug to administer when you are in a home setting like this.
BLITZER: Well, we have our own expert, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, who is watching all of this unfold.
Involuntary manslaughter, Sanjay, and the argument is that he just was reckless in giving him this anesthetic inside a bedroom, as opposed to inside a hospital.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely.
And I think, Wolf, I think you were the first person I talked to when this all happened two years ago now. And I think the conversation went with me saying, this just sounds so bizarre, Wolf, because I hadn't heard of propofol being used in that way.
So, yes, and I think that that, you know, has remained true over the last two years. No one has come out and said, actually, that is a fairly normal thing to do, because it is not. And so, I think that alone is obviously very serious. And they made the case specifically, like, look, it was administering propofol, and it was also lack of resuscitation equipment, it was lack of monitoring equipment, and it was not being present at the time propofol was being administered, which is a requirement when you administer propofol.
And then the second part, Wolf, as Jeffrey was just talking about as well, was who administered the lethal dose? Was it Dr. Murray or, as the defense is asserting, was it Michael Jackson himself? So, I don't know how crucial a point that is going to be. But it is curious how much the jurors will fixate on that.
BLITZER: By the way, I want to point out to our viewers, Sanjay, that great seal of California that we are showing in the upper right-hand corner, there it is right there, that's the video feed coming from inside the courtroom.
Once they release that, that means they're about to get ready to make the announcement of the verdict. The judge, Judge Michael Pastor, will begin that process. And once we see that seal go way, we know we are only literally seconds away from the start of this final stage.
So you have heard a lot of the evidence, Sanjay. Walk us through -- walk us through what you're thinking right now as we set the scene, because most people probably believe he is going to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but it is by no means a done deal.
GUPTA: Yes. It is interesting, Wolf.
And I will preface some of the discussion of the science by saying, I'm not sure how much of the science in fact penetrated or jurors paid attention to this. But the whole notion, obviously, that no one is disagreeing that propofol was administered in the home -- what some of the science is, exactly what happens to that propofol once it is administered?
We know that it lasts a very short time, for example, in the body, which means that it would be hard to trace in the blood after a certain period of time has gone by. So, you know, he had blood samples taken at the time he arrived at the hospital, again at the time of autopsy, and the levels of propofol, for example, were so high, they weren't consistent with Dr. Conrad Murray was saying, was that he only administered 25 milligrams.
So it -- it sort of painted this picture, did Michael Jackson himself inject even more than that? That was one of the things. Or, as the defense say, did -- did he, essentially, at the time he gave him this medication, he passed away.
And, Wolf, I think I see the judge there standing in front of the courtroom. BLITZER: Right. The seal has gone away. There is the judge. Judge Michael Pastor. He is getting ready to begin this process. They are watching it.
The jury is now walking in, we're told. We're not going to see pictures of the men and women of the jury. But let's listen into the judge as he begins this process.
JUDGE MICHAEL PASTOR: This is the case of people versus Conrad Robert Murray, case 073164. Dr. Murray is present in court with counsel, Mr. Chernoff, Mr. Flanagan, Mr. Gourjian. The people by counsel, Mr. Walgren and Ms. Brazil. All alternates are present. All members of the jury are present.
To everybody, good afternoon.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon.
PASTOR: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am advised that the jury has reached a verdict. Who is the foreperson of the jury?
FOREPERSON: I am your honor.
PASTOR: Juror number three, thank you, sir. Is that in fact correct?
FOREPERSON: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: The jury reached a verdict.
PASTOR: Has the jury, through the foreperson, signed the appropriate verdict form?
FOREPERSON: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Could you provide the verdict forms to Deputy Jones who will present them to me?
The court has reviewed the verdict form. And, ladies and gentlemen, there was a typo in terms of the date of the alleged incident. It was written June 9th, 2009. And, juror number three, you have corrected that to June 25th and you put 2-5 and you put some squigglies after that.
FOREPESON: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Thank you.
I reviewed the verdict form which now I will pass to Mrs. Benson (ph), the court clerk. Ms. Benson will publish the verdict.
COURT CLERK: Superior court of California, Los Angeles County. The people of the state of California plaintiff, versus Conrad Robert Murray, defendant. Case number FA-073164. Title of court in cause. We, the jury in the above entitled action, find the defendant Conrad Robert Murray guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter, in violation of penal code section 192 subsection B. Alleged victim, Michael Joseph Jackson. Alleged date of June 25th, 2009. As charged in count one of the information, the 7th day of November, 2011.
Foreperson juror ID number 145 seat number three, is this your verdict? Is this your individual and personal verdict, so say you one, so say you all?
PASTOR: All jurors indicate in the affirmative.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to ask you whether this is your individual and personal verdict. I'm going to be asking you individually if this is correct. If it is your individual and personal verdict, say yes. If it is not your individual and personal verdict, say no.
Is this your individual and personal verdict, juror one?
JUROR 1: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Juror two?
JUROR 2: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Juror three?
JUROR 3: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror four?
JUROR 4: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Juror five?
JUROR 5: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror six?
JUROR 6: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror seven?
JUROR 7: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror eight?
JUROR 8: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror nine?
JUROR 9: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror 10.
JUROR 10: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Juror number 11.
JUROR 11: Yes.
PASTOR: Juror 12?
JUROR 12: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: All jurors having indicated the affirmative. The court check is directed to record the verdict.
Do counsel wave further reading of the verdict as recorded, Mr. Walgren?
DAVID WALGREN, PROSECUTOR: Yes, sir.
PASTOR: Mr. Chernoff?
EDWARD CHERNOFF, DEFENSE COUNSEL: Yes.
PASTOR: Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I now will read to you final instructions upon discharge of jurors. You now have completed your jury service on this case. On behalf of all of the employees of the Los Angeles Superior Court and parties in this case, and others involved in this case. Please accept my thanks for your time and effort.
Throughout this trial, I have admonished each of you not to discuss anything about this case with anyone other than a fellow juror during deliberations in the jury room. That order is lifted and vacated, which means that from now on, you have the absolute right either to discuss or not to discuss anything about this case with anyone else.
If you want to talk about the case, that decision is appropriate. If you do not want to talk about this case, the decision is appropriate. The decision is yours and yours alone. I repeat -- the decision is yours and yours alone.
I remind you that under California law, you must wait at least 90 days before negotiating or agreeing to accept any payment or benefit in exchange for providing any information about the case.
Let me advise you of some rules the law puts in place for your convenience and protection. The lawyers in this case, the defendant or their representatives, now may talk to you about the case, including your deliberations or verdict. Those discussions must occur at a reasonable time and place and only with your consent. Please immediately report to the court any unreasonable contact made without consent by the lawyers in this case, the defendant, or the representatives.
A lawyer, defendant or representative who violate these rules violates a court order may be fined. I hereby order that the court's record of personal juror identifying information, including names, addresses and telephone numbers, be sealed until further order of this court.
If in the future, the court is asked to decide whether this information will be released, notice will be sent to any juror whose information is involved. You may oppose the release of this information and ask that any hearing on the release be closed to the public. The court will decide whether and under what conditions any information may be disclosed.
I do order that the confidential emergency contact information forms you completed and provided to the court staff be destroyed.
On a personal note: I remember way back when in early September when first we met, I advised you at that time that you were being asked, as all jurors are asked, to accept the responsibility of citizenship in this great country. And I told you, I understood that serving on a case would be a hardship, an inconvenience and burden on you, because you have your own lives outside of this courtroom. You have responsibilities to your jobs, to your profession, and to your families.
You have undertaken the responsibility of jury duty in a remarkable fashion. As do jurors everyday throughout this great country, you have made sacrifices. And you certainly have had to endure burdens and impositions, delays, and a case that ran over what I told you you would have to serve.
Throughout this trial, you have been remarkable in terms of your patience, in terms of your conscientiousness and your dedication. You've never been late. You've been here and you have had a wonderful disposition. You always have been respectful to those of us in the courtroom. And we are genuinely appreciative of it.
I certainly know and appreciate that serving on a case of this sort has interfered with your everyday lives. But you undertook the responsibility in good faith. And I again, want to indicate, on behalf of our courtroom family in department 107, as well as those involve in the case -- thank you for your time and your efforts.
I want to single out the alternates in this case. If you recall when we met the first time, the only way to analogize the rule of an alternate is a spare tire. Most of the time you never need the spare, but when do you need it, you really need it. We didn't need spares in this because the regular jurors were so conscientious but the five alternates also were remarkably dedicated and conscientious and I want to thank you as well for performing your civic duty.
I'm going to ask that you accommodate us a little more by going back into the jury room and just relax for a few minutes. I, and some of our court staff members, want to go in and thank you individually for your sacrifices.
So, once again, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of all those involved in the case -- thank you for being jurors in this case. And again, I want to wish you the very best.
We stand for jurors in this courtroom. And it's not standing for them in terms of tolerating them. We actually stand up for jurors.
And people want to know why we do that. We do it because we respect you, and because we appreciate you. And that's why at every session in this case, we have stood for jurors and why now again, those of us will stand for you as well.
My best wishes. You are discharged and excused.
BLITZER: All right. So, the jurors are leaf leaving the courtroom. There you see Dr. Conrad Murray guilty, one count involuntary manslaughter. The judge is continuing.
PASTOR: With regard it further proceedings in this case. Mr. Chernoff, would you like to be heard?
CHERNOFF: Judge, you're asking about sentencing?
PASTOR: Any motion and probation and sentencing? Dr. Murray has a statutory right to speedy sentencing within 20 court days after today's date, which means on or before December 8th, 2011. I do not believe we have a probation report. We may, but I haven't reviewed any documentation on that. I don't think we do.
So, it's up to you what date --
CHERNOFF: We were discussing the sentencing, possible sentencing dates and we were talking about three weeks.
PASTOR: If you have a date that you are suggesting, let me know so then I can turn to the people.
Please. Defense counsel has conferred.
BLITZER: Just want to point out what is going on there. You see the defense team, lead criminal defense attorney for Dr. Conrad Murray there. They are looking at the calendar to see appropriate date for sentencing. Under the conviction, he could serve up to four years, one count involuntary manslaughter. So, we'll hear a date on this.
One of the things I'm anxious to hear is whether he will continue to stay out of prison on bail. Let's listen and see what they're saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the 22nd? Is that something you can do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that sufficient time?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty-eighth if that's possible, your honor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the schedule of probation?
PASTOR: Two to three weeks. It's very difficult to get a report within a two-week timeframe. My suggestion is that it be the week thereafter. The problem I have is I'm starting a major case on the 29th. If it means I have to go to the 30th, I will do that. If we can start on the 29th, I can adjust the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Judge, I'm sorry, you said you are starting on the 29th a case?
PASTOR: I was. I can do probation and sentencing on this case on the 29th as 13 of 20 if you want me to.
CHERNOFF: Yes, Judge, that will fit everyone's schedule and Mr. Walgren, I believe, seems to be OK with that.
PASTOR: Let me just ask before we go to the next step. Is Tuesday, the 29th of November, acceptable for the people?
WALGREN: It is, your honor.
PASTOR: Thank you.
With regard to further proceedings in this case, and Dr. Murray's status, do you want to be heard on that, Mr. Walgren?
WALGREN: I would, your honor.
PASTOR: You may.
WALGREN: At this time, your honor, the people would ask that that the defendant be remanded into custody. He, as the court is well aware, has had approximately two and half years to prepare for today's date. He's now a convicted felon and has been deemed a factor the cause of the factor in Michael Jackson's death.
At this time, we would ask that he'd be remanded with no bail pending sentencing on November 29th, 2011. Thank you.
PASTOR: Thank you, Mr. Walgren.
Mr. Chernoff, I'll hear from you.
CHERNOFF: All of the causative factors of remand do not apply in this case. For 18 months Dr. Murray has been on bail has not violated any of the rules of the court, has not been a flight risk, has not been m a danger to the community. He continues that way. He has family obligations that he has it take care of.
The fact that this was a possibility doesn't mean that those obligations don't need to be taken care of. There is no reason to remand him under the circumstances. And we ask that you release him until the sentencing date of 29th of September -- November.
PASTOR: Is the matter submitted Mr. Chernoff?
CHERNOFF: It is.
PASTOR: Mr. Walgren?
WALGREN: Yes, your honor.
PASTOR: Thank you.
The court takes into account the factors in penal code sections 1166 and 1272. Throughout this trial, Dr. Murray was presumed innocent, and certainly there is a constitutional guarantee of bail to pre- conviction status. Dr. Murray has been convicted by the jury of a felony by the jury. The jurors found beyond a reasonable doubt unanimously that Dr. Murray is in fact guilty of the crime of involuntary manslaughter. There is no statutory right to bail based upon this felony conviction.
The court does evaluate the defense request for continued release on OR and bail to penal code sections to which I referred. The defendant shall be committed to the proper custody of county to await judgment of the court upon the general verdict unless upon considering certain factors the evidence supports a decision to allow Dr. Murray it remain out of custody on bond.
The first factor is the protection of the public. Quite frankly, I feel that that is a significant and demonstrable factor in this case, and public protection, as far as I'm concerned, dictates that the defendant be remanded without bail in few of the fact that Dr. Murray has been convicted of a crime involving homicide.
This is not a crime involving mistake of judgment. This is not a crime involving administration of drugs per se. This is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. That factor demonstrates rather dramatically that the public should be protected.
Secondly, the seriousness of the offense charged and proven. The offense charged and proven in this case is a homicide. And the homicide is predicated upon criminal negligence of this case. As far as I'm concerned, that factor is a significant factor in terms of remand.
Third, the previous criminal record of the defendant. As far as I know, that criminal record is nonexistent and that is a factor which would indicate to court that Dr. Murray should remain on his posted bond.
The fourth factor is probability of the defendant failing to appear for the judgment of the court upon the verdict. Dr. Murray has made all of his court appearances. He has been represented by counsel. He has made appearances in the past. Quite frankly, I don't know if Dr. Murray would in fact make those appearances in the future since he now is a convicted felon and Dr. Murray has significant ties outside of the state of California. So I genuinely am not sure about this factor.
And the fifth factor, is once again, an overriding consideration, and that is public safety. Dr. Murray's reckless conduct in this case poses a demonstrable risk to the safety of the public. If Dr. Murray remains out of custody on bond, and even though Dr. Murray is a medical doctor, and even though he has been practicing, public safety demands he be remanded.
Based upon my evaluation of all of these factors, I conclude that remand is appropriate. Dr. Murray is remanded to the custody of the Los Angeles sheriff with no bail, and in the interim he is to be kept in care and custody of the sheriff and ordered to appear for further proceedings and formal probation and sentencing on 29, November, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. in this department.
I expect that the people will have specific restitution -- we can wait a few moments -- specific restitution-related incidents in this case pursuant to the provisions of penal code 120.24 and be prepared to address any matters of restitution. Certainly counsel are aware of reassignment act and provisions of a penal code section 1170 subdivision H. I do want sentencing memoranda filed by people and defense in this case.
Is there anything else to address at this juncture, Mr. Walgren?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No thank you, your honor.
PASTOR: Mr. Chernoff?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, judge.
PASTOR: Thank you.
For purposes of these proceedings, Dr. Murray is remanded, and the court will take a few moments to talk with jurors and members of the court staff will be talking to jurors as well.
We are in recess. We are adjourned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Media contact still in effect?
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST, "THE SITUATION ROOM": So there you have it. Dr. Conrad Murray. You just saw him handcuffed. He is about to go to jail. No more bail for him. His criminal defense attorney is saying something, Ed Chernoff. Let's just listen in for a sec.
PASTOR: Those orders are vacated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, on November 16, can appear 977 for the doctor.
PASTOR: No. Between now and then if the court wants to adjust, it will. But there is a special proceeding involving Dr. White. It's a special proceeding involving Mr. Alfred. Their appearance is necessary at this point unless we go to the next step, OK? Thank you.
BLITZER: All right, so there it is. Dr. Conrad Murray will be escorted to jail right now until his formal sentencing on Tuesday November 29. He had been out on bail, but now, the judge deciding that that would be inappropriate, Judge Michael Pastor, explaining why he decided he should be sent to jail right now, awaiting sentencing on November 29.
Lots to digest here. We'll get reaction from outside the courtroom, from reporters inside. I want to bring in Jeffrey Toobin and Sunny Hostin to get their sense. I guess we shouldn't have been surprised by any of this, Jeffrey. Looked like pretty much of a slam dunk as far as conviction is concerned given the evidence brought forward.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: I don't know if it was a slam dunk but certainly not something to challenge the jury a great deal. They deliberated a reasonable amount of time but certainly not a long time. They didn't ask to see any of the evidence.
I have to say I'm a little surprised he was remanded without bail. The two factors, and the judge talked about a bunch of factors, but the two key factors are risk of flight -- is this person a risk of flight -- and danger to the community. And given the circumstances here, I didn't think he was either much after risk of flight or much of a danger to the community. But as the judge pointed out, this was a very serious crime and it involved the death of a human being. He is someone who lives in Texas, not in California, o he doesn't have a lot of ties to the California community, which relates to the flight issue, so he remanded him.
That was a tough thing to do but an understandable one. But I could see other judges making a decision on that.
BLITZER: One little other footnote on that point, and it's a sensitive point that you bring up, whether or not he should have been allowed to stand bail until sentencing or sent it jail as we just saw that he was.
David Walgren, the prosecutor, I don't know if you know this, but he was a prosecutor in the Roman Polanski case. And speaking about risk of flight, we know what happened in the Roman Polansky case. And after all, Conrad Murray was born in Grenada and has a the lot of contact outside of California and I suspect a high profile case like this, the judge, Judge Pastor didn't want to take any chances at all.
Let me bring in Sunny Hostin to get her reaction it what we just saw unfold. Were you convinced he would be found guilty, Sunny?
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well you never know so I wasn't convinced, but I certainly believed, Wolf, that prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. I think the evidence was very significant against Dr. Murray.
But I agree with Jeff. I was very surprised they remanded Dr. Murray. That is something that didn't always happen. It is up to the judge. But certainly I think, in my experience, what is usually considered as the risk of flight. And I didn't think that that was -- there was a grave risk of flight in this case. But it was up to the judge, and the judge used his discretion. So I guess we will find out what his sentence will be.
I think what is interesting though is that because of the overcrowding situation, in Los Angeles, I wonder even if he is given four years in prison, whether or not he will serve that amount of time. I mean, certainly someone that has a felony conviction but no priors would be eligible for less time. So I wonder what will happen when we see what he is sentenced to.
WHITFIELD: Walk us through, Sunny, very quickly, how that decision is made. He could serve up to four years but not necessarily get four years. How is that decision made?
BALDWIN: That's right. My understanding is that off then times the decision is made by the bureau of prisons. It is quite possible if he goes Los Angeles county jail, he may only look at two years and he could serve part of that prison sentence at home with a home monitoring device.
And so this is a decision that will be made but it happens all the time. Remember Lindsay Lohan just was sentenced to 30 days and she spent about four and a half hours in prison. So there's no question about it that Dr. Conrad Murray, even given four years, may not get that amount of time in jail.
BLITZER: He is 57 years old, also 58 years old looking potentially at four years in prison. Sunny, stand by. Jeffrey, stand by as well.
Casey Wian is outside. Casey, a huge crowd outside the courthouse. What was the reaction? We saw some pictures, but describe what happened when the guilty verdict was announced.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as soon as that guilty verdict was announced these hundreds of people behind me, mostly Michael Jackson fans, erupted in shouts of jubilation. Many of these folks told us they believe that Dr. Conrad Murray should have been charged with even more serious crimes. But they are happy tonight he is convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
And if I can just offer one other observation, watching from here, some of these fans were watching it as well, Dr. Conrad Murray looked like about the most surprised person in the room when sheriff's deputies walked up behind him and put the handcuffs on him so quickly. It seemed like he was not expecting to be remanded into custody as quickly ease was, as Sunny and Jeffrey had both mentioned, Wolf.
BLITZER: What happens now as far as the crowd is concerned? Are they staying there? They're waiting for other news conferences? We expect to hear at this point from the prosecutors, defense attorneys, we'll get reaction, I assume, maybe, from Michael Jackson's family as well. Is that what we are waiting for outside the courthouse?
WIAN: Absolutely. I think this crowd, who many of them have been here throughout this trial, standing in line for lotteries, for the eight seats available in the courtroom, I think they will want to hear from the jury. I think they're going to want to hear from the prosecutors. But my sense is what they really want is to see the Jackson family walk out and express their thanks for this verdict. They are waiting, I think, for the Jackson family to applaud them for what they believe is justice being served in this case, Wolf.
BLITZER: And there are microphones. There is an area where they can all go and make their statements to the news media. Is that right? WIAN: That's right. It was our understanding that the prosecutors would not be meeting with the news media if the verdict was not guilty. But that they do plan to, since the verdict was guilty. We are waiting to see whether the jurors, of course as the judge mentioned, it is voluntary pour for the jurors to speak to the media. We will be waiting to see if they will agree or do so.
BLITZER: I want to play for the viewers, Casey, the reaction once that guilty verdict was announced from outside the courthouse. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: You see most of those people, they're excited he was convicted, found guilty. One count involuntary manslaughter, eligible for up to four years in prison. You saw him handcuffed, Dr. Conrad Murray, and taken to jail. That's where he's going to be until November 29th, the day the judge announced would be the sentencing of Dr. Conrad Murray.
The whole notion, Casey, we are going to get some of our reporters from inside as well. I know Ted Rowlands was inside the courtroom, Randi Kaye was inside the courtroom. We'll get their eyewitness reaction of what was going on inside. Family members were inside as well. But as we await some of the statements that we expect to be made by the defense attorneys, the prosecutors, the jurors can come out. You heard the judge say the jurors if they want to come out and make a statement they certainly can as well. It'll continue for a while in Los Angeles, the unfolding of this drama.
WIAN: Absolutely. And this some of celebratory atmosphere you see going on behind me really speaks to the fact that Michael Jackson more than two years after his death still has a lot of very, very devoted and dedicated fans.
And if we think back to the closing arguments that prosecutor delivered, one of the more emotional moments, was when he came out and said that as a result of Dr. Conrad Murray's actions, in this case, Michael Jackson's children were left without a father. And we can remember back to Michael Jackson's funeral when his children made what, for many people, was their first public appearance. And it really humanized this performer. I think that this crowd here devoted to him shows the humanity that this man had, especially in the eyes of his devoted fans, Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, I want everybody to stand by. I want to reset for our viewers right now. We're looking at live pictures. We think inside that truck, Dr. Conrad Murray is being taken away to a jail in Los Angeles, the judge announcing he would not be eligible to continue to be out on bail. He could be potentially be a flight risk or threat to others. So he is going to jail right now awaiting sentencing on November 29.
Ted Rowlands is joining us now, our correspondent who was inside the courtroom when the verdict was announced. What was it like in there, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you can imagine, Wolf, it was very intense during that moment right before the court clerk read the verdict.
And then afterwards, I don't know if you could hear it over the court audio, but a couple members of the Jackson family and Kathy Hilton who was also sitting with the Jackson family, let out an outburst basically a celebratory one and that got a stern reaction from bailiffs.
Murray's side, obviously, the opposite, Conrad Murray when they put the handcuff owns him, he turned around and locked at his daughter who was crying, and his mother. Anna Nicole Alvarez, who he has been staying with here in Los Angeles, she testified in this trial.
She has had a child with Conrad Murray and she said I love you, as they carted -- took him out in handcuffs out of the courtroom. The Jackson family, for the most part, besides the outburst was very sombre following the verdict.
Jermaine Jackson had his down for most of it as did Randy Jackson and Mr. Jackson, Katherine Jackson, showed no visible reaction when the verdict was read.
Afterwards though, she did in a very poignant moment, hugged the lead the prosecutor, David Walgren, who walked over to the second row as the Jackson family walked out.
But to answer your question, as you can imagine, emotional intensity, I guess is the way I would describe the scene inside the courtroom.
BLITZER: Ted, you know, we saw Dr. Conrad Murray a few times during the course of the trial, break down, and wipe away tears from his face. I was looking closely at the shots, I don't know if you could see his face at all during sentencing or afterwards.
But did you actually see tears come down? Did he break down? How emotional did he get? That video we just showed, by the way, was old video, it wasn't from today. Go ahead, Ted.
ROWLANDS: Right, yes. He did not shed a tear as far as I saw. I was sitting behind him in a very good vantage point of him, but I can tell you this. He was prepared for this eventuality.
I could tell you that his security guard, Jeff and driver, who has spent the last couple of years with him every single day. Ann Murray when they walked in, it appeared to me that they had been crying anticipating this possibility.
Clearly the way this jury came back with 10 hours of deliberating, the defense knew, Murray knew in his heart, this is likely the outcome. And he knew because his defense attorneys told him that he would likely be led away in handcuffs.
So while it was still a very emotional verdict for them, it was one that they fully expected given the deliberation time of this jury.
BLITZER: Is that standard operating procedure over there in Los Angeles? You have spent a lot of time in L.A. over the years, Ted. That they immediately handcuff the defendant? How the convicted -- the man convicted of this crime, and immediately whisk him away?
ROWLANDS: It is standard operating procedure if the judge remands the defendant to custody. A lot of the people didn't think that Murray would be remanded because he didn't have a criminal record.
And one would think, looking at him, he would not be a flight risk or especially a danger to society. However, the judge, as you heard, disagreed with that saying because of the nature of the crime that he could be a danger to society and used that really for the bulk of his decision on this.
But the answer is, yes, when a judge says, he is remanded, immediately the bailiffs behind get behind the chair and put the handcuffs on them, which is what you saw take place in that courtroom this morning or this afternoon.
BLITZER: My sense is that the judge, Judge Michael Pastor, didn't want to take any chances in a high profile case like this. Even if the chance was tiny, that Dr. Conrad Murray would flee or whatever, try to escape, get out of the country in some sort of way.
That would have been obviously a very, very embarrassing moment to the judge, who is obviously not taking any chances whatsoever. I'm just guessing what was going through his mind.
But you've been watching this trial from day one. He seems like a pretty much of a no-nonsense kind of judge.
ROWLANDS: Absolutely. He is tough, but he is consistent. Sitting in that courtroom, you know the rules that's for sure and when somebody violates them, he does not hesitate to call them out in court, whether it's a spectator even a family member or one of the attorneys.
Even a couple witnesses have been reprimanded. One, Dr. Paul White is coming back for contempt hearing. In fact, I think after the cameras had stopped recording or showing live testimony, one of the lawyers, Michael Flanagan said to the judge.
Do we still have to bring Dr. White back for this contempt hearing and he said, absolutely. He is very, very strict but consistent, I would say.
BLITZER: So, the next stage and you have been speaking to the criminal defense attorneys. You've been speaking to the prosecutors. We expect statements that they will come out to the microphones, make their respective statements at some point fairly soon, is that right?
ROWLANDS: Well, we don't know if they are going to come out. They know that microphones are here waiting for them. It is my understanding they are going to talk with Dr. Conrad Murray's family initially here and then they'll make that decision.
And who will come down, we don't know if it will be the entire defense team or not. As for the prosecution, we do expect them to make a statement up in the District Attorney's office. It will not be a live event, but it will be quickly turned around.
We expect it that to be a very short statement from the lead prosecutor, David Walgren. Then it is the Jackson family's decision too, to speak. There are cameras set up outside here and security is set up, if they would with wish to speak.
And again the jury will also be given an opportunity to address the public, through the media, as to what led to their decision et cetera. A lot of questions for this jury if they are so inclined to speak.
BLITZER: And if they come out, we will hear what they have to say, the Jackson family and others. Ted, stand by. Dr. Sanjay Gupta watched all of this unfold as well.
From a medical perspective, Sanjay, you and I have spoken about this a lot over the past year or two or whatever, as long as this has been going on.
The notion of a doctor administering this anesthetic, Propofol inside a bedroom, highly extraordinary and now this jury has convicted him of involuntary manslaughter.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. It was extraordinary at the time that we first talked about this, Wolf and it remained extraordinary in the sense that no one came out and ever said actually this is something that's, you know, more common than we think. No one ever said that.
It was bizarre, I think, was the adjective I used with you when you first described this to me, Wolf, more than two years ago. Now what was interesting, when we were watching this case, I was out in Los Angeles for some time, I thought that the defense would try and make the case with their experts.
Look, this is not that unusual situation. You know, Propofol is something that's used in hospitals, but it's also used in clinics and could also be used in other sort of settings. They never made that case.
Dr. Paul White sort of focused more on this idea that maybe Michael Jackson injected himself. So I thought that was all sort of fascinating. In the end, obviously, we know how the jurors interpreted all that.
BLITZER: And Propofol, correct me if I'm wrong, Sanjay, something that a physician would give if you're going to get a colonoscopy or something like that to put you to sleep. But they are very carefully monitored in a situation like that. GUPTA: Yes. There are very specific requirements. First of all, Propofol is a medication used in operating rooms to induce general anesthesia. It's used in intensive care units for patients who are getting procedures for example, in the ICU.
Also, as you said, Wolf, for minor procedures, patients who need to be sort of out for a little bit of time. It's not sleep per se, which is another issue they came up, Wolf. This is literally being anesthetized.
So not very restorative in terms of sleep, but yes, you know, this idea that someone needs to be present, you have to have resuscitation equipment around. You have to have monitoring equipment around.
Certainly, you know, the patient needs to be monitored the entire time on Propofol, those are pretty standard procedures. But, you know, obviously many of those things weren't followed here.
BLITZER: I can't tell you how many doctors over the past couple of years have said to me they were outraged when they heard about use of Propofol to try to get Michael Jackson to sleep in his home.
I never spoke to one doctor casually or on television or whatever we talk this was normal. So the notion of involuntary manslaughter certainly, I think the medical profession, your colleagues out there.
The doctors who are watching and who watch this closely, they are getting a lesson from this, an important message is being sent out there.
GUPTA: Well, yes. You know, but I think most doctors as the way public sort of, you know, thought what you are describing, though, Wolf, so I'm not sure exactly what the lesson was for most doctors because it was outrageous then and remains outrageous now.
I think what is interesting, Wolf, just to give you an idea of just how strange this is. Propofol is a substance is not even considered a controlled substance in the way that many narcotics are.
These pain killers that we've been talking about in part because no one could even I think imagine or envision a situation where it would be abused in this way. It a drug that has been abused, you know, in hospitals for example.
Even by anesthesiologists, but to abuse it in this way outside a hospital or outside a clinical setting, inside someone's home, I don't think anyone has even considered that as a possibility.
BLITZER: And the notion that he was getting paid by Michael Jackson, $150,000 a month, to be his personal physician, I don't know if that played any role in the jurors' minds or whatever. But it was clearly out there.
GUPTA: Yes. I think so and you know, it is obviously a lot of money. It seems somewhat outrageous especially as the prosecution tried to make the case. And in order to do this he left some of his previous patients.
Now, many of those patients, Wolf, as you know listening to testimony, they had very nice things to say about Dr. Murray really credit him with saving their lives.
So prosecution focused on this idea he was taking care of patients, but then he left them. He abandoned them for the money to take care of just one patient. You know, that was the sort of negative portrayal they are aiming for, Wolf.
BLITZER: If you are convicted, Sanjay, I don't know if you know the answer to this, but I'll ask you. If you are convicted, you're a physician of involuntary manslaughter, of felony, he's going to jail.
He's on his way to jail right now. He's on handcuffs, but he's going to serve up to four years, do you automatically lose your medical license? You can never practice medicine in the United States again or is that something that is open to challenge?
GUPTA: It is surprising, but it is open to challenge. I know Jeffrey has talked about this as well, but we look this up. It is interesting. The court cannot determine, court itself cannot determine if someone loses their medical license. That is something by the individual state boards to do.
Now there no question, this is obviously a huge factor, but he is actually licensed in four different states. At time this trial was going on, his license in California was suspended.
In Hawaii is expired, but in both Nevada and Texas, he still had a medical license, during all of this, albeit without the ability to prescribe medications any more.
So this is something determined at the state board level although again, Wolf, this is obviously a huge determinant.
BLITZER: I wonder, I guess, it would be shocking if a doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter is still allowed to practice. But I hear you saying it, technically it is possible that someone can serve time and get back into the business of being a doctor.
GUPTA: Yes, absolutely. And the state board, even at the time of conviction, depending on specifically what conviction is for, reserves the right not to strip the person of their medical license. Again, that's a state board decision as opposed to the courts.
BLITZER: And I guess we can just conclude that the jurors, all 12 of them, never really bought this notion that Michael Jackson himself, administered the Propofol when Dr. Murray walked out of that room?
GUPTA: You know, I don't know the answer to that, Wolf, because I think what the prosecution was really trying to say as they listened very closely, especially their closing arguments, was the idea of who administered it while important wasn't entirely relevant.
Because the situation in and of itself administering Propofol in the home, having it sitting out, doing all these things that Dr. Murray was doing without, you know, resuscitating equipment or monitoring equipment.
That in and of itself was criminal so the idea of who administered it ultimately. While they both talked about it in their closing arguments, you get the sense in the prosecution, they were trying to paint that as less relevant.
BLITZER: Is it normal right now as we take a look at this, that there will be some reviews, some memoranda that will go out to the medical community based on this high profile case telling doctors, anesthesiologists, others you know what, we all watch this. Here is what you got to learn, lessons you got to learn from this.
GUPTA: I think some of that is happening. There was a meeting for the National Society of the Anesthesiologists where this topic came up. I think that this idea that Propofol, again, wasn't a controlled substance has already been a movement to try and control a substance and making it not as easily accessible as you heard.
I mean, Dr. Murray was able to buy, as they said, bathtubs full of this stuff. So I think some of that will come about as a result. Again, this whole notion that, you know, Propofol is, you can't use it outside the home, I guess, the assumption was that all doctors knew that.
And maybe Dr. Murray did as well, but you know, I'm sure that there will be a strong message sent about that as well.
BLITZER: Yes, you can't use it outside the hospital you meant not outside the home.
GUPTA: I'm sorry, outside the hospital, that's correct, yes.
BLITZER: You need the proper security and precaution. Sanjay, stand by for a moment. Sunny Hostin is still with us. Sunny, so walk us through what happens between now and November 29th, the day of sentencing.
SUNNY HOSTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sure, Wolf. Certainly, he has been remanded, Dr. Conrad Murray, has been remanded so he will remain in prison. His attorneys will start working on presentencing report, their recommendations.
Their job right now is to keep him out of that jail bed. The prosecution will also be working on their recommendations. They, of course, want him sentenced to four years in prison. And then the Probation Department will also render sort after recommendation as to whether or not they feel it is appropriate for him to serve probation or up to four years in prison.
Then ultimately, Wolf, it will be up to this judge to determine sentencing. Now again, because of jail overcrowding in Los Angeles, I think it is quite possible that even if sentenced by this judge to four years in prison, Conrad Murray could very well serve less than that. But it is not up to the judge in terms of how much of the sentence he spends in prison. Only the sentence is up to the judge.
BLITZER: The man in the center of your screen with a hat on is Joe Jackson, the father of Michael Jackson. He and his wife, Katherine Jackson, they're leaving and the other members of the family are as well. You can see the huge crowd of camera, photographers and media outside. The Jackson family leaving -- I wonder if they're going to stop off and say anything.
Right now, it looks like they're just leaving, trying to get through that scrum of reporters, photographers, media and just folks who have gathered outside the courtroom right there. We'll watch it very closely