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Flawed But Not Fictional; Questionable Questioning In The Michael Jackson Case
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Flawed But Not Fictional; Questionable Questioning In the Michael Jackson Case

We are hearing today that a Prosecutor named David Walgreen has asked whether it is the opinion of an individual named Dr Steven Shafer whether Conrad Murray is directly responsible for the death of Michael Jackson due to ‘egregious violations and abandonment’?

Questions are of the utmost importance for they often contain the seeds of the answer they are seeking; rather than the stimulus for fact finding. I have no capacity to travel back in time and observe the process that led up to Michael Jackson’s death, so will refrain from idle speculation on the case. However, I would like to look at this question as to whether an individual can be responsible for death due to ‘egregious violations and abandonment’? If one can, we all can.

So what would it take to egregiously violate and abandon someone to death? On the face of it, we would have to break moral or legal codes with a flagrancy that would be eye-catching and involve walking away and leaving someone all alone to die when we could have prevented it. Personally, I have only really seen such flagrant law-breaking and departure from a dying individual take place in melodrama, although there have been a few instances of overly-self important people storming out of a meeting having been brought up for questionable behaviour. No one died as I recall.

It seems then that the idea of someone engaging in flagrant law-breaking and departure from a dying individual would involve them being what is normally perceived to be a ruthless villain in a melodrama. Intuitively speaking, this means we are more likely to see it in fiction rather than fact.

This is not to say that fact is not, and cannot be, comparable or superseding of fiction. There are countless situations in the non-fictional world that would be laughed off stage and screen. This is why we often hear the phrase – “You couldn’t write it.”

Reality trumps theory every time. That is why when in the real world we ought to be careful about confusing fictional stereo types with factual people. I have a sense that it is easier to condemn a made-up character than a real life being, which is why I wonder if there is anything we can do to reduce the transposition of truth and fiction? Especially in a real judicial scenario; I think so.

For a start we can ask questions that contain the stimulus for fact finding rather than seeds of the answer they are seeking. In the instance we are talking about here; Prosecutor David Walgreen might have asked whether Dr Steven Shafer had any factual evidence as to whether Conrad Murray is directly responsible the death of Michael Jackson; factual evidence such as proof that moral or legal codes were broken and that Conrad Murray walked away and left Michael Jackson all alone to die, when he could have prevented it?

I have no idea how Dr Shafer would answered this question, but it but does feel rather more loyal to reality than asking if it is an opinion that an arguably ruthless villain in a melodrama sits before us. As implied above, if one can be a ruthless villain in a melodrama, we all can.

Personally, apart from the fictional arts, I have only met living, breathing human beings, who are flawed but not fictional.


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