Conrad Murrary’s conviction marks the latest chapter in the tragic story of Michael Jackson. Leonard Pitts Jr. writes in his new column, “Once Upon A Time, When Michael Channeled The Gods…”:
Once upon a time, there was a boy who channeled the gods.
He invoked them through his feet, moving without friction across the gleam of a thousand stages. They possessed him though his voice, now rough like bark, now sweet like butter and brimming always with an emotional depth once thought inaccessible to children.
You felt the gods of soul and of show — James, Jackie, Sammy — moving through him when that first big record hit the streets late in 1969. The glissando splashes down into an urgency of guitar and a wriggling of bass and in comes the boy, moaning with real need about that girl he let get away. “I want you back,” he cries. And you don’t doubt him for an instant.
If you are lucky enough to be old enough to have been there then — not to have listened to a greatest hits CD or watch a video on YouTube, but to have been there, buying the albums, staying up for the TV appearances, feeling that rush of discovery — perhaps you felt a kind of detachment Monday from the cheers that went up when the verdict came in. Justice, people called it.
There can be little doubt jurors got it right when they found Dr. Conrad Murray guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson. In using a dangerous surgical anesthetic to treat Jackson’s insomnia — in allowing a drug-addicted patient to dictate the terms of his treatment — Murray transgressed not just law, not just medical ethics, but also common sense and simple decency.