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Tuesday, July 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Michael Jackson’s Doctor Wants to Keep License

AUSTIN (CN) - Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of killing Michael Jackson, has filed a lawsuit to prevent the revocation of his medical license in Texas.

Murray is serving four years for the involuntary manslaughter of the 50-year-old pop icon. On Monday, he sued the Texas Medical Board in Travis County Court, arguing that he had agreed to an indefinite suspension of his license pending the outcome of the California criminal case and that the conviction is not final because his appeal is pending.

"The board is only going forward on the sole ground that as Murray has been preliminarily convicted of a felony in California, the board may revoke his license," the nine-page complaint states. "California law states that a conviction is not final until appeals are complete and remittitur is issued form the appellate courts (like a mandate in Texas)." (Parentheses in original.)

Under Texas rules of evidence, a pending appeal renders evidence of a conviction as inadmissible, Murray says.

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals precedent also holds that convictions are not final until appeals are complete, according to the complaint.

"Therefore, there is no purpose for the board moving ahead on October 2, 2012, other than to revoke license which is disallowed by its own rules and outside the mandate of the [Texas] legislature and to obtain a result without the testimony of Murray, who being incarcerated, is unable to attend and participate in the [informal settlement conference] in person to testify," the complaint states. "The board seeks to move ahead in abrogation of Murray's Texas and States rights against self-incrimination which keep him from participating."

Murray says he can participate in the conference after the resolution of his conviction, and that this is the "clear reasoning" behind the board's rule preventing license revocations until after convictions are final.

Murray seeks injunctive relief. He is represented by Charles Peckham of Houston.

Jackson, who had hired Murray as his personal physician in May 2009 for $150,000 a month, died in June 2009 after overdosing on propofol, a powerful sedative.

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