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October 19, 2011

Expert: Propofol is getting a bum rap

Posted: 01:52 PM ET

Anesthesiologist Dr. Steven Shafer testified that everyday he is working in an operating room his patients ask him if he will be giving them the drug that killed Michael Jackson.

This negative image of the anesthetic propofol, which he calls an "outstanding" drug, motivated him to volunteer his expertise to the prosecution's case.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren asked Dr. Shafer if he was volunteering his time "pro bono" - or working for free. Judge Michael Pastor interrupted Walgren and asked him to define "pro bono" because not everyone may know what it means. Walgren quipped that he didn’t know what it meant either and the court erupted in laughter.

Dr. Shafer said he offers his services in medical malpractice cases for free because he doesn't want to compromise his integrity and doesn't want to profit off of malpractice.

Complete courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial airs live on HLN from gavel to gavel. It’s also on In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Opinion • Testimony • Witnesses


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October 18, 2011

Why Dr. Conrad Murray shouldn't take the stand

Posted: 12:14 PM ET

Commentary by James Walker, a criminal defense attorney based in Atlanta – Special to In Session

As Dr. Conrad Murray's defense attorneys prepare to present their case and plea for his innocence, the question begs: Should Dr. Murray take the stand and testify?

The short answer: NO!

First, the obvious reason: He doesn't help himself when he opens his mouth. If you recall, Dr. Murray chose to release a self-serving video prior to this trial to exonerate himself or "explain" some things. However, it was clear he is not a good or convincing speaker.

It would only get worse on the stand when you have a prosecutor cross-examine Dr. Murray with the glaring media coverage and 12 jurors hanging on to every syllable he enunciates for what could be two to three days of testimony.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion • Testimony


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October 17, 2011

Opinion: Jurors still don't know how Michael Jackson died

Posted: 11:23 AM ET

Commentary by Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell" on HLN

As I watch the prosecution barrel towards the end of its case, I feel compelled to ask: Have they left out the most important part of their case? Hear me out for a second.

The prosecutor needs to take the jurors and put them (in their minds anyway) in Michael Jackson's bedroom and show them exactly how he believes Dr. Murray killed Michael Jackson. I firmly believe that - for jurors to convict somebody of the very serious crime of homicide - they must first be able to visualize how it happened (or at least how prosecutors contend it happened).

So far, the prosecution has focused on accusing Dr. Murray of extreme deviations from the standard medical care for his many reckless decisions: giving Michael Jackson a surgical knockout drug to help him sleep when it's not designed as a treatment for insomnia, not having the proper monitoring or resuscitation equipment, not having a medical assistant, leaving Michael Jackson alone after giving him propofol and then, upon finding Jackson unresponsive, not calling 911 immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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October 14, 2011

Propofol: "There's no turning back"

Posted: 11:36 AM ET

Commentary by Dr. Richard Firshein, Family and Preventative Medicine – Special to HLN

The last two days of testimony, provided to us by two knowledgeable physicians, has given us a greater understanding of what propofol is, how it works and, most importantly, how it should be used.

Cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg provided clear information concerning the use of propofol. Doctors and their staff must follow specific protocols when using this medication, particularly in a non-hospital setting.

First and foremost on Dr. Steinberg's list of the ways in which Dr. Conrad Murray violated the standard of care was that propofol, which is a strong anesthetic that is used for diagnostic procedures, is not used to treat insomnia.

In addition, he contended that Dr. Murray did not provide informed consent -  a process during which patients actually learn about potential side effects of the medications that their doctors may be considering.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Drugs • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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October 13, 2011

Top 4: Analysts on the attack!

Posted: 02:46 PM ET

HLN's Mike Galanos is joined by Michael Barnes and Jeffrey Shapiro

We know you can't watch every moment or hear all the opinions from today's testimony, so here's your cheat sheet for catching up on what people are saying about the Conrad Murray trial today.  Joining us on HLN were host Mike Galanos, drug policy adviser Michael Barnes and defense attorney Jeffrey Shapiro. Here are our four favorite observations from them.

On the defense debating Dr. Murray's use of propofol:
Jeffrey Shapiro:
“This case is not defensible from a medical standpoint. I cannot believe any credible doctor would take the stand on behalf of Dr. Murray to say what he did was within the standard of care.”

On Dr. Murray's care of Michael Jackson:
Michael Barnes: "You’ve got to constantly treat these patients as if they’re at risk. And if you know someone has a risk of getting the drugs, or injecting them or otherwise, you don’t put them in that situation. You don’t put a drug seeker in a situation with room of drugs. Come on!”

On the revelation that Dr. Murray took few, if any, notes on Jackson's medical care:
Mike Galanos:
"I don't even like it when I go to a restaurant and the waiter or waitress tries to memorize my order. I even want that written down!”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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Dr. Drew: 'You can't be physician and friend'

Posted: 09:30 AM ET

Last week, we heard tapes of Dr. Conrad Murray being questioned by detectives. In that interview, Murray stated that Michael Jackson was his friend.

A few other physicians who treated Jackson have also claimed to be friends with the superstar. On Wednesday night, Dr. Drew addressed this very issue on his HLN show.

“Doctors [become] so dazzled by special patients,” Dr. Drew said. “My advice to my peers when they're treating celebrities is don't treat them any differently than anybody else. The standard of care of the medicine is the standard because it is the best and if we do anything other than the standard that we offer to all our patients, we're doing something substandard or potentially substandard.”

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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October 12, 2011

Dr. Steinberg: The People's Choice!

Posted: 03:22 PM ET

Cardiologist Dr. Alon Steinberg has been on the stand all day and it's clear you guys are digging him as an expert witness. We're always reading the comments and observations you tweet to @HLNTV so make sure you keep them coming!


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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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Will Murray's police interview actually help defense?

Posted: 12:00 PM ET

The audio recording of the police interview with Dr. Conrad Murray just days after Michael Jackson's death will be strong evidence for the prosecution... but HLN correspondent and In Session anchor Ryan Smith points out it could end up helping the defense.

In a way, he says, it allows the doctor to testify in his own words, but without having to be subjected to cross examination.

Get up to speed on the what happened in the Conrad Murray trial each morning on HLN's "Morning Express with Robin Meade."

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanSmithTV and get gavel to gavel courtroom coverage of the Conrad Murray trial on HLN. Also from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET every weekday on In Session on truTV.

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Evidence • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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October 10, 2011

MJ's trainer: King of Pop was in "good shape," but couldn't sleep

Posted: 10:15 PM ET

Commentary by A.J. Hammer, host of HLN's "Showbiz Tonight"

A lot of people know Lou Ferrigno as the body behind the original "Incredible Hulk." What you may not know: Ferrigno was a friend of Michael Jackson who was training him until two weeks before the pop superstar's death.

I had the chance to sit down with Ferrigno and the thing that fascinated me the most was the way he described Jackson’s physical condition.

Despite reports of a fragile and sickly Jackson in the weeks before his death Ferrigno told me Michael was in good health.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Friends • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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Tweeting the trial: No days off online

Posted: 06:01 PM ET

The Conrad Murray trial took Columbus Day off, but we watched as trial tweets kept coming today.  Here's a snapshot of what you're saying about the case.

We're always reading the comments and observations you tweet to @HLNTV & @InSession so keep them coming!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Filed under: Conrad Murray • Michael Jackson • Opinion


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 This is your online home for In Session on truTV’s up-to-the minute, comprehensive coverage of legal issues, trials and news from America’s courtrooms.  Our anchors, analysts and producers are teaming up here to give you updates on the stories that matter to you.

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