Dr. Conrad Murray, who had been convicted of involuntary manslaughter for his participation in Michael Jackson’s death, was sentenced to four years imprisonment, which is the maximum punishment for involuntary manslaughter. Restitution has also been ordered in this case and although the exact figure remains to be determined, the court will be ordering close to $100 million in restitution. This restitution amount includes funeral expenses and lost wages that the pop singer would’ve earned but didn’t because of his untimely death.
Before the passage of AB109, Dr. Murray would have served his sentence in state prison. Now, however, because of prison overcrowding, certain low priority felons serve their penalties in county jail. Since Dr. Murray does not have a strike conviction, and since his current crime is neither a strike nor a sex crime, he will be serving his sentence in county jail. Furthermore, because of AB109, the judge has the capability of reducing his sentence to two years custody and two years probation. Finally, because LA County jails are notoriously overcrowded as well, there’s a chance that Dr. Murray will be released early.
It is highly doubtful Dr. Murray has the capability of paying the total restitution amount, or even close to that amount. Dr. Murray certainly has the right to challenge the restitution amount, but restitution hearings are skewed heavily in favor of the victims. If Dr. Murray cannot pay the total restitution amount by the time his sentence and/or probation ends, then the restitution is converted into a civil judgment. One thing to note is that bankruptcy cannot erase criminal restitution. This civil judgment will follow Dr. Murray for the rest of his life.