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The lawyer for Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, says that he is dying in prison because of his cramped cell.
In a letter to Los Angeles County jail officials, Michael Flanagan writes that the 6-foot, 5-inch Murray cannot live any longer in his 5-foot by 7-foot cell because it is slowly “killing him,” reports The Daily Mail. Flanagan writes that Murray is dealing with low blood flow because of his limited mobility and he could suffer from deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to permanent damage and death in some cases.
“Death or injury at the hands of another prisoner … 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,” the letter reads.
“He’s being housed like a piece of veal,” Flanagan told the New York Daily News. “He can't even do jumping jacks in his cell. The bed takes up three feet, and there's a toilet in there too. It's awful what they're doing to him.” He adds that Murray is also only allowed two hours to exercise outside of the cell on Mondays.
Nicole Nishida, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, denied Flanagan’s claims.
“He's not dying in jail,” she said, noting that officials at the jail spoke to Murray recently. “He's alive and receiving proper medical treatment. He's receiving really good treatment in fact. He has some issues and concerns, and we're working with him.”
She added that there are men larger than Murray living in similarly sized cells who are having no problems. “We do understand he has concerns, and we are listening to him.”
Still, Flanagan insists that the jail is not a healthy environment for his client, claiming that if anyone who saw the trial would not recognize Murray today. “His hair has turned gray. He's down 20 or 30 pounds. He's very gaunt-looking and has a hard time walking.”
Murray was convicted last year in the 2009 death of Jackson. He was sentenced to four years in jail. Recently, he invited Jackson's mother to visit him.