Confined to a cell just a few inches bigger than he is, Dr. Conrad Murray‘s lawyer says treatment of his client may lead to life-threatening conditions and irreversible injuries. Murray has been housed in a 5×7 cell in a high-security section of the Los Angeles County jail since November 7, 2011.
Murray stands 6 feet 5 inches tall, but due to his notoriety must be confined in isolation in the facility’s high-security wing. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the June 25, 2009 death of pop star Michael Jackson. Murray is guilty of administering a deadly overdose of sedatives and the surgical anesthetic proposal. He told police the concoction was an attempt to cure Jackson of his insomnia.
“Death or injury at the hands of another prisoner, however, is no worse than a slow death caused by a loss of circulation and atrophy resulting from inhumane confinement of a large man in a tiny space,” attorney Michael Flanagan wrote in a letter addressed to Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Wednesday.
“Dr. Murray’s cell is proportional to that of a travel cage used for short-term transportation of an animal,” Flanagan wrote.
In a telephone recording between Murray and an unidentified friend obtained by TMZ, Murray says he is suffering from blood clots in his legs–a deadly situation if left untreated as clots can travel throughout the body lodging in the lungs or blocking blood flow to the heart. Murray said he was rushed to USC Medical Center because of the severe pain in his legs caused by the clots.
“I have had to lay in bed for most of the day because there is no way to elevate my feet. One of the recommendations by the doctor is to keep my legs elevated and to increase my activity which is impossible in a 5×7 cell,” Murray complained to his friend.
Doctors determined there were no blood clots and returned Murray to his cell.
The only exercise Murray gets, according to his attorney’s letter, “occurs on most Monday evenings when he is transferred in chains to an 8-by-8 cage on the roof of the facility.” He gets about two hours outside of his smaller cell.
“A review of earlier booking photos and bio-statistics of Dr. Murray, when compared to his current condition and appearance, would be shocking to persons not previously familiar with him,” wrote Flanagan. “To those who have known him for the last year or longer, the suffering that has obviously taken its toll on his health is unimaginable.”
Murray confided to his friend that he feared he would suffer permanent damage as a result of his condition. “I may never be able to wear a boot again,” he said. Neither will MJ.