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TODAY   |  April 26, 2013

Conrad Murray: ‘An injustice has occurred’

Dr. Conrad Murray, the personal physician to Michael Jackson currently serving a four-year prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter, talks to TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie about his desire to clear his name.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> conrad murray who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of michael jackson speaks out live from his los angeles jail cell , but first nbc's take taibbi has new details on dr. murray 's attempt to have his conviction overturned. mike, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. at this point dr. murray 's appeal isn't intended to shorten his prison sentence . he's due to be releelsreleased soon. probably by the fall. it's to that he did nothing wrong. before he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to the max, four years, he told savannah that michael jackson 's death had nothing to do with the care he provided.

>> do you feel guilty that he died?

>> i don't feel guilty because i did not do anything wrong.

>> reporter: in his appeal, murray says his trial was fundamentally unfair, the trial judge was biased and the jury should have been sequestered because of the media frenzy around the case. his goal not to get out of jail early but to get his life back, says attorney valerie walsh.

>> he wouldn't be a convicted felon for one thing. he wouldn't lose the rights as a felon, it may lose his ability to practice medicine in the future.

>> reporter: murray could be a turning point witness in the jackson family 's mega millions suit against the promoters of the king of pop 's doomed final concert tour . if the doctor's negligence led to the final fatal dose of propofol who was the role of aig live who murray believed would be paying his monthly $150,000 fee? law professor lori levinson.

>> the jackson family will argue aig is responsible for everything conrad murray did. they reminded him they're in charge.

>> reporter: murray has not been subpoenaed to testify in the suit against aig though he's on the witness list for both sides. aeg says the company didn't hire murray and had nothing to do with jackson's medical care . murray says he'll likely take the fifth if he's called to testify.

>> mike taibbi thank you so much. dr. conrad murray is with us exclusively on the phone from the men's central jail in los angeles . his attorney valerie wasser is here, handling his appeal.

>> good morning, savannah.

>> dr. murray , this is not about shortening your sentence. you're expected to be out in a few months. as i understand it, this appeal is for you, a chance to clear your name. do you think it will be sufficient to do that and do you expect you should be able to practice medicine again?

>> well, i hope that i think my attorney has done an excellent job in her brief and i hope that the court would see that an injustice has occurred at this occasion and if that be the case, i will have my license back and i'll be able to continue practicing medicine to give services to all those who seek it and especially to the underserved.

>> in your appeal which i have seen, you blame michael jackson . you blame the jury. you blame the judge, and you blame your lawyers and i wonder if, having reflected on these facts now, you take any personal responsibility for what happened to michael jackson .

>> not any responsibility as it relates to his death. i am sorry that i have lost michael as a friend and as a patient. being a doctor almost, such a huge impact on our lives, to have to tell a family member someone has passed away , you could not save them. it's a tremendous loss, so much pain and i have lost a very dear friend and a dear person to me, and it's going to remain with me for the rest of my life but i'm not going to accept responsibility for anything i did not do.

>> but doctor, let me push back on that just a little bit. he died from this powerful anesthetic called propofol as you well know. you prescribed it and you administered it. i know your theory is he injected it, however, are you not responsible for bringing the drug into the room and leaving him unattended?

>> that, i am not. i met michael jackson with his own stash of medication. i tried to get rid of the propofol from michael jackson . you may not have liked the approach i took but nonetheless, the circumstances were to actually get him away from that agent.

>> speaking of the night he died, doctor, in just those actions, you left the room, you left him unattended, and pro to follow on the package labeling says it requires constant monitoring.

>> i left the room but i left no propofol in his way he should have used, i did not leave it to michael to have taken his own action and cause his own demise. i did not do that.

>> let me let valerie on this.

>> jackson was not on a pro to follow drip. he was on a saline drip. he's given him 25 milligrams of propofol .

>> that's doctor murray 's contenti contention. there was a larger amount of propofol found in his autopsy.

>> correct.

>> you don't dispute the fact that propofol was prescribed and michael jackson gained access to it when dr. murray left the room.

>> gained access whether it came from dr. murray or his own source has not been established.

>> dr. murray , let me ask you what life in jail has been like for you?

>> it has been one of my most horrendous experience. i have only survived because of the loving hope and the support that i get from various individuals and especially would like to say my girlfriend, any koes nicole alvarez, never missed a visitation and never not called me on a daily basis and my children and just a bunch of other people who have written to me from all over the world who encourage me.

>> do you regret not taking the stand in your own defense?

>> i don't know. i do not think that the prosecution had solved or they had proved their case, and i did not see if i took the stand if i would have added anything more. i believe the problem is my attorneys. i believe there was a lot of ineffectiveness. actually there was an obstruction of justice when the prosecutor himself destroyed the evidence in the open courtroom. that was obstruction of justice, and that was unbelievable. that is almost i think impossible to live with.

>> dr. conrad murray , we appreciate you getting up early, calling us from your jail cell . we appreciate it, and valerie wass, thank you to you.