What is involuntary manslaughter? What is the definition of involuntary manslaughter? Conrad Murray’s involuntary manslaughter charge has people asking what exactly is at stake now for the former doctor of Michael Jackson.
Murray, 56, was charge by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson last year. The charge read that Murray “did unlawfully, and without malice, kill Michael Joseph Jackson.”
The Los Angeles Coroner’s office ruled Jackson’s death a homicide by acute propofol intoxication.
California Penal Code 192 defines “manslaughter” as the unlawful killing of another person without malice.1 “Involuntary Manslaughter,” which is the least serious variant of manslaughter, gets charged when the killing occurs:
- in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, OR
- by way of a lawful though dangerous act, that is done in an unlawful manner or without due caution or circumspection.
When someone dies under any kind of “suspicious” circumstances, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are bound to get involved. Police want to hold someone accountable. And often times, as a result, they jump to conclusions or rush investigations, leaving innocent people to defend against false accusations and wrongful arrests.
Once again, referring to the Michael Jackson case, the Los Angeles D.A. stated in its complaint that Dr. Murray “did unlawfully and without malice kill Michael Joseph Jackson” by acting “without due caution and circumspection”.
Prosecutors will attempt to prove that Dr. Murray acted with criminal negligence when he administered such a large dose of the anesthetic…an anesthetic that they contend is meant to be used in preparation for surgery, not as a sleeping aid. They will argue that a reasonable doctor in the same situation would not have administered this medication.
Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing for Involuntary Manslaughter:
California Penal Code 192 (b) PC involuntary manslaughter is a felony. A conviction subjects you to7
- formal probation,
- a two, three, or four-year California State Prison sentence,
- a maximum $10,000 fine, and
- possible professional repercussions (if you hold a professional license).
In addition, California involuntary manslaughter law also addresses civil wrongs. If, for example, you are found liable for unlawfully causing another’s death in a civil suit (in a medical malpractice case, for example), you could face substantial additional fines.
This going to be a very interesting case from both sides. Do not be surprised if a deal for probation is cut. Furthermore, is this charge about the death of Michael Jackson or the possible huge lawsuit against AEG? Keep watching as I keep you in the know about the case.