Dr. Conrad Murray is on trial in LA, charged with involuntary manslaughter for his allegedly reckless medical treatment that led to the death of famous performer Michael Jackson.
In yesterday’s proceedings, the prosecution called several of Murray’s mistresses as witnesses. Their testimony suggested that Murray is a sexual scumbag who used his relationship with Jackson to entice women to sleep with him.
Character evidence rules generally forbid prosecutors from attacking the morality of criminal defendants. But Murray’s own behavior allowed the prosecution to call his mistresses to the stand without violating the character evidence rules.
ONe mistress testified that around the time that Jackson’s heart stopped, Murray had lleft the room where Jackson lay dying to chat with her. Another mistress testified that Murray had large quantities of propofol shipped to her home address, showing that he had lied when he told the pharmacy that his medical clinic was at that address.
Thus, even though the mistresses’ testimony suggested that Murray is disgustng, their testiony was not barred by character evidence rules because the testimony was relevant to show that Murray was not paying adequate attention to Jackson’s condition and that he was overmedicating Jackson with propofol. You might credit the prosecutors with cleverly circumventing the character evidence rules, but it was Murray’s own actions that created the opening.