Earlier today, a judge sentenced Dr. Conrad Murray to four years in jail for involuntary manslaughter. The sentence might not seem overly strict, but based on the charges, it was the stiffest possible penalty he could have received. In addition, the doctor was subjected to a scathing lecture from the judge who called his entire practice bad medicine and his behavior remorseless.

Michael Jackson’s family has long complained about the lack of more formal charges against Murray, but despite the gross incompetence that happened here, the doctor has a pretty clean prior track record. There were no other victims and no evidence of situations prior in which he behaved similarly. In fact, most legal experts didn’t think Murray would be have given anything close to the maximize were it not for Jackson’s fame. Whether that’s true or not, because the incident occurred in California, Murray’s sentence actually won’t be that bad.

Because of prison overcrowding, the doctor will serve his sentence in an L.A. jail, and in all probability, he’ll be home after completing about half. He should spend the further two years on strict probation, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever practice medicine again. Even though his negligence resulted in a death, the loss of a career and two years of freedom is still a high price to pay for an on the job mistake.

What do you think? Was Dr. Conrad Murray’s sentence too harsh, or was he given the right amount of time? Sound off by voting in the poll below…

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