MJ`s doctor appeals involuntary manslaughter conviction

Updated: Apr 23, 2013, 13:34 PM IST

Melbourne: Eighteen months after his involuntary manslaughter conviction, Michael Jackson`s doctor Conrad Murray has appealed his case, claiming that there were multiple legal errors in his trial.

A lawyer for the doctor argued in the 230-page appellate brief that there was insufficient proof Jackson died of an overdose of the anaesthetic propofol administered by Murray, the Herald Sun reported.

The appeal also reiterated an often-stated defence claim that Jackson may have administered the overdose to himself.

The US pop superstar died on June 25, 2009, days before he was to leave for England to perform in his ill-fated `This is It` concert.

Witnesses said Murray had been giving Jackson propofol as a sleep aid, a purpose for which it was not intended.

Lawyer Valerie Wass said that because of Jackson`s great fame, his doctor was used as an example by the judge who sentenced him to the highest term for involuntary manslaughter.

She suggested that even if his conviction is upheld, his four-year sentence should be reduced.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor had denied the defence motion, saying jurors who are sequestered often feel like prisoners and it interferes with their decision-making process. He instructed jurors daily to avoid publicity, and there was no indication that they violated the order.

The appeal also challenged the prosecution theory that Jackson was hooked up to an IV drip of propofol and left alone in his bedroom by Murray.

It called that scenario "absurd, improbable and unbelievable", and provided an exhaustive reprise of scientific testimony about Jackson`s death.

Murray told police he gave the singer an extremely small dose of propofol, a fact contradicted by scientists who reconstructed the events preceding the death.

Wass contended that one defence lawyer, Michael Flanagan, failed to adequately cross-examine a scientist who testified to that issue.

She said he and other lawyers also waited too long to ask for examination of residue in a propofol bottle found in Jackson`s room. Their motion was filed 11 days after conviction and was denied.

The appeal faulted the judge for refusing to admit as evidence some of Jackson`s previous medical records, his contract with concert promoter AEG, and his financial documents.

She claims the concert promoter was negligent in hiring Murray to care for the singer.