US prosecutors want to show Jackson’s last days


LOS ANGELES – Prosecutors in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor want to show footage of the “King of Pop” rehearsing shortly before his death in order to show he had no intention of ending his life.
With less than three weeks to go before the opening of the trial of Conrad Murray, the physician accused of manslaughter in Jackson’s 2009 death, the defense is fighting against the presentation of the footage.
On Tuesday the prosecution requested permission to exhibit video clips from a few days before the pop star’s death on June 25, 2009, in which Jackson is seen singing and dancing in a rehearsal for his “This is It” tour.
Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil argued in the motion that the images show an “active, energetic” Jackson involved in the creative process.
The clips “support the prosecution’s theory that Michael Jackson was actively involved in preparing for his upcoming tour, that he was engaged in the decision-making process and that he had every reason to want to live.”
“These video clips are completely at odds with someone who, as the defense has claimed, would recklessly take his own life just hours after the last clip was filmed,” they wrote. The clips were filmed on June 23-24, 2009.
The pop icon died at the age of 50 from an overdose of propofol, an extremely powerful anaesthetic he used as a sleeping aid.
Prosecutors allege that Murray, 58, “abandoned his patient” after administering the powerful sedative and then tried to cover it up after the singer’s death.
Murray’s defense team has argued that Jackson took an extra dose of the drug without his doctor’s knowledge in order to end his life, saying the pop star was concerned about his mounting debts.
Murray acknowledged that he had used propofol, but insisted that on the day of the singer’s death he administered only a small amount of the drug that should not have been fatal.
The trial is set to begin on May 9, and if Murray is convicted he faces up to four years in prison.
The prosecution has also requested to show photos from Jackson’s autopsy, a demand rejected by the defense, which said the publication of the images would prejudice the jury.
The prosecution said the pictures in question are not gruesome, but instead show the star in “excellent health,” further eroding the suicide theory.
“Put most simply, these limited photographs will help demonstrate that Michael Jackson was generally in excellent health and that, while thin, his body weight was within the normal range,” prosecutors said in the motion.