Dr. Conrad Murray was sentenced today to four years in the Los Angeles County Jail under California’s new sentencing laws that went into effect October 1, 2011. The judge sentenced Murray to the maximum sentence allowed by law which seems extremely harsh considering his lack of prior criminal record as well as the many outstanding things he had done for the community.
However in some ways Dr. Murray is very lucky due to the “timing of his sentencing”. Prior to October 1, 2011 Dr. Murray would have been sentenced to four years in state prison. This would mean he would have done two full years in prison. At the conclusion of his prison term he would have been placed on three years of parole. It is horrible to be on parole as you are monitored closely as to all aspects of your life. The good news for Dr. Murray is that under the new law he will spend his time in the Los Angeles County Jail and not prison. What this means is it is extremely likely he will not serve anywhere near a two year sentence. In fact, based upon the nature of his crime and lack of prior record and the overcrowded condition of the Los Angeles County Jail, he could serve as little as a few weeks or months in custody.
What is even more important for Dr. Murray is that after he is released from custody he CANNOT be placed on parole or probation. This means he will be “free” to do what he wishes to do and not be “hounded” by parole officers. He will not have to answer to anyone as to what he chooses to do.
It is unfortunately that the judge imposed the four year maximum sentence on Dr. Murray. However, in reality Dr. Murray is extremely fortunate that his sentence took place after October 1, 2011.