LOS ANGELES – If Dr. Conrad Murray is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, he would face a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison. Here are some of the factors related to sentencing:
— Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor would have complete discretion to decide the sentence. He would receive a probation department report on Murray recommending a sentence. Both prosecution and defense attorneys also would file recommendations. But the decision is his and his alone.
— The judge can consider that Murray is a defendant with no prior criminal record, a circumstance that might mitigate in favor of probation.
— Because of AB109, a recent California prison realignment bill, Murray probably would not go to state prison. If given a prison sentence, he would most likely serve it in the county jail because of prison overcrowding. There has been speculation that he would be allowed to serve a term of house arrest.
— The penal code calls for a convicted defendant to be sentenced in 20 days, but he can waive that time while his attorneys prepare a motion for new trial and an appeal. He could remain free on bail during that period.
— Murray would lose his medical license.
If there is an acquittal, Murray walks free and his bail is exonerated, but he might still lose his medical license.