Dr. Conrad Murray, who was declared guilty of involuntary manslaughter in pop music king Michael Jackson's death Monday, might end up only serving a few months behind bars due to a prison overcrowding problem that plagues California, say experts.
The judge presiding over Murray's trial, Michael Pastor, will give Jackson's doctor a sentence on Nov. 29, which could be probation, home confinement or up to four years in state prison, experts say.
However, the Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley said Monday in a statement that it would be "very difficult to achieve an appropriate sentence of incarceration for Conrad Murray," according to ABC News. Cooley quoted overcrowding of California's prisons and Murray's lack of a prior criminal record, factors that could be major indicators in his sentence.
The problem of overcrowding was present for a while, reportedly plaguing 33 of California’s prisons. Many prisons house twice as many inmates as they were built for, forcing authorities, in some cases, to put bunk beds in gymnasiums.
The overcrowding in California’s prisons is by far the worst in the country, with only Georgia and Alabama coming close, The Economist reported in August.
Murray's sentence was announced Monday to the great joy and cheers of crowds of Jackson's fans who gathered in front of the California courthouse. The jury's verdict was read shortly after 4 p.m. ET when court was reconvened.
Murray was removed from the courtroom in handcuffs and taken to jail where he awaits sentencing.
Each member of the jury declared the physician guilty in the televised trial.
Jackson, 50, died at his Los Angeles mansion on June 25, 2009, from a fatal dose of propofol, a very powerful anesthetic said to normally be administered in hospitals. Prosecutors alleged that Murray, 58, gave Jackson excessive amounts of propofol when the pop legend claimed he needed to sleep.
The Houston, Texas, doctor's defense attorneys tried to convince jurors that Jackson gave himself the fatal dose of propofol.
"They want you to convict Dr. Murray for the actions of Michael Jackson," defense lawyer Ed Chernoff said in the trial's final remarks. "This is not a reality show. It is reality."