Michael Jackson: 'Never Can Say Goodbye'
Alton H.Maddox | 4/12/2011, 4:37 p.m.
When the only witness to the death of the "King of Pop" was his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who had hurriedly run away from a dying Michael Jackson and also from his own expensive automobile before law enforcement officials could collect their thoughts, an APB should have gone out for him. He was at least a material witness, if not a criminal suspect.
Dr. Murray has retained a lawyer and he may invoke not only the physician-patient privilege but also the privilege against self-incrimination. Waiver of the physician-patient privilege may become a heavily litigated issue in any grand jury investigation of Michael Jackson's death.
Of course, New York said that the attorney-client privilege belongs to a Black attorney, and it did not belong to Tawana Brawley and Al Sharpton. This is not the law that is applied to whites, however. A two-tiered system of justice can have disastrous consequences.
Based on the facts, the Los Angeles district attorney's office should have immediately convened a grand jury. Neither a district attorney's office nor a police department has subpoena powers. This means that the grand jury and not the police has investigatory powers. Otherwise, we must question the messenger for the message.
If hospital infections are a major cause of death in this country, you have to question the propriety of the medical doctor treating Michael in his personal residence. This becomes more puzzling if the doctor may have administered Demerol to an allegedly heavily medicated body.
When a medical detective (a.k.a., a pathologist) examines a body, toxicology reports become important. In many cases, the medical detective is like L.A. Detective Mark Furhman, who became infamous during the prosecution of California v. Simpson. Since these medical detectives are arms of police departments, the family has to be alarmed.
A call for a second opinion is reasonable. Deaths are classified into natural deaths, accidental deaths, suicides and homicides. Someone will be affected by the medical detective's final opinion, which is influenced by economics and politics.
In the Brawley case, New York, for example, said that Harry Crist Jr., a police officer and suspect in the kidnapping and rape of 15-year-old Tawana Brawley, committed suicide. I publicly begged to differ. A cover-up was running amuck.
Once Crist's death was ruled a suicide, the murder suspects were relieved. A suicide designation prevents a murder prosecution. A suicide classification may also prevent the payment of an insurance policy. In my humble opinion, there should be a presumption against suicide.
When I said that Crist's death was a homicide, Gov. Mario Cuomo and New York Attorney General obert Abrams hit the ceiling. You would have thought that I had stepped on their toes. They had already hidden the autopsy report and had concealed the identity of the pathologist who examined Crist's body.
When I finally found the pathologist amid the defamation trial 10 years later, I subpoenaed him to give trial testimony. His autopsy report showed that Crist had been murdered. There was no suicide note and no gun found at the crime scene. There was no gunpowder residue on his hands. New York had disbarred me for exposing a cover-up.