LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The California Supreme Court declined today to hear
an appeal by
, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter
for giving singer Michael Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol.
Jackson died June 25, 2009, at age 50 while he was in Los Angeles and
under Murray’s care, preparing for 50 sold-out concerts in London. Murray was
convicted in November 2011 and sentenced to four years behind bars. He was
released from jail in October.
In January, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court
of Appeal upheld Murray’s conviction. The next month it denied a defense
petition seeking a re-hearing of the case, prompting the appeal to the state
Murray’s appellate attorney, Valerie G. Wass, contended in her petition
that a review by the Supreme Court is “necessary to address important and
recurring questions of law.”
Those questions include whether the lower court erred in denying a
request to sequester the jury, failing to exclude cameras from the courtroom,
and allowing jurors to access the Internet and social media sites during trial.
“There was unprecedented global media coverage of the case. The trial
was televised around the world, streamed live on the Internet, accessible on
smartphone apps, and more than 2,200 reporters from around the world obtained
credentials to cover the proceedings,” Wass wrote.
Wass detailed 21 questions for consideration by the high court,
including whether the lower court should have ordered witnesses not to watch
televised proceedings in the case and whether jurors could avoid being tainted
by media coverage given their access to Facebook, Twitter and other online and
“The pervasiveness of modern digital media essentially made it
impossible for a non-sequestered jury to have entirely avoided media coverage
of the case,” Wass wrote.