When even a judge uses the word "Yikes" to sum up Dr. Conrad Murray's participation in a documentary, then you know it was a dumb, dumb move. Just after Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, he appeared in the MSNBC documentary Michael Jackson and the Doctor: A Fatal Friendship. And at his sentencing, the words Murray uttered in that interview came back to bite him in the a**.
"I don't feel guilty because I did not do anything wrong."
Those eleven words pretty much sealed Murray's fate in Tuesday's sentencing. Throughout the six week trial, Murray never uttered a word, but the wise choice to keep him from taking the stand was all but erased when he granted MSNBC an exclusive interview. That interview gave the judge clear and direct evidence that Murray felt no remorse for his crime and took no personal responsibility for it. It also only further exacerbated the prosecution's portrayal of Murray as a man hungry for "money, fame and prestige." Three words the judge used to describe Murray in his sentencing Tuesday.
Adding insult to injury, Murray claimed in the interview that he felt betrayed by Michael Jackson, that HE felt taken advantage of by his patient. My response: Excuse me? The Judge's response: "Yikes."
With that one interview, the 35 letters the defense gave the judge from Murray's family, friends and patients attesting to his good character were all but meaningless. With that one interview, the judge had all the evidence he needed to prove that Murray deserved nothing short of the maximum sentence because he was still not remorseful for what he had done. Even the prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney David Walgren, told the Today Show Wednesday that Murray should have never agreed to the interview.
Tonight, as Murray sits in his 5ft by 8ft cell, I'm betting he's punching himself for ever agreeing to that interview. What I can't understand is, was Murray so shortsighted as to think the judge would not watch the interview? Were his attorneys so stupid as to allow him to do the interview, or so absentminded as to not notice he had agreed to it? Any decent attorney knows better than to allow a client accused of a crime to grant a public interview with the media... well, any attorney besides Dr. Murray's... and any attorney besides Jerry Sandusky's.
Just weeks ago, Sandusky made the same shortsighted and ill-fated decision to grant an interview to the peacock network. While we'll have to wait and see what consequences Sandusky will face in court because of that interview, most viewers can agree that interview did not help his case to prove his innocence. If anything, it creeped out most viewers when he said, "I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs." Still, Sandusky pulled the same move as Murray and adamantly denied any wrongdoing and pledged his complete innocence. However, if Sandusky is indeed found to be guilty of 40 counts of sexual abuse, his words could also come back to haunt him.
So word to the wise, if you're on trial for a crime and the media comes knocking on your door, keep your mouth shut!