Michael Jackson’s autopsy report was surprising as much for what it didn’t contain as for what it did: The singer was in relatively good health for a man his age and no illegal drugs were detected in his system.
Jackson’s physical condition, detailed in his autopsy report obtained by The Associated Press, could be a useful tool for prosecutors as they weigh charges against his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, who told police he administered a powerful anesthetic to the singer shortly before he died.
The coroner has ruled Jackson’s death at age 50 a homicide with his death caused by acute intoxication of the anesthetic propofol with other sedatives a contributing factor. The coroner found the propofol was administered without any medical need and that recommended resuscitation equipment was missing.
The autopsy findings block a potential defense for Murray — that Jackson hid serious pre-existing conditions that increased the risk of death from the drugs he willingly took.
“It clearly establishes that Michael Jackson was a healthy person whose death appears to have been directly caused by the administration of some very powerful sedatives,” said criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Mark Werksman. “This autopsy report seems to clear the path for a prosecution that his death was caused by an overdose.”
The Los Angeles County coroner’s report shows Jackson’s weight of 136 pounds was in the acceptable range for a 5-foot-9 man. His heart was strong with no sign of plaque buildup. His kidneys and most other major organs were normal.
Still, the singer did have health issues, many of them age related, including arthritis in the lower spine and some fingers, and mild plaque buildup in his leg arteries. Most serious was the condition of his lungs, which the autopsy report said were chronically inflamed and had reduced capacity that might have left him short of breath.
Obama draws straight line from ‘birther’ paranoia to the rise of Trumpism: analysis
On Saturday, writing for The Intercept, Murtaza Hussain broke down how former President Barack Obama's new book connects the dots directly between the racist "birther" conspiracy theories surrounding his presidency, and the rise of the political movement surrounding Donald Trump.
"Obama does not spend much time directly discussing his experience of race while in office, but, to the extent that he does, he makes a convincing case that the anti-intellectual populist movement now known as Trumpism began in part as a racial backlash to his own presidency — specifically, Trump’s conspiratorial campaign to establish that Obama had been born in a foreign country and was thus ineligible to hold office," wrote Hussain.
Here’s what Trump could do to tank the economy out of pure vengeance
Less than a week before the 2020 election, I interviewed a number of psychologists who speculated that if President Donald Trump lost to former Vice President Joe Biden, his narcissism might cause him to lash out by deliberately tanking the economy. Now it seems like that prediction might have been correct — although the reasons may have as much to do with the Republican Party's longstanding traditions as Trump's individual flaws.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Anti-vax groups online are helping to radicalize the QAnon movement
The alliance between anti-vaxxers and QAnon followers is rapidly increasing as they continue their efforts to spread massive amounts of disturbing misinformation amid the pandemic. One glaring example centers around one incident that occurred last week.
Facebook opted to nix a massive anti-vaccination propaganda group with more than 200,000 members last week. However, the group was not shut down for the dangerous public health misinformation its members posted, but rather, the disturbing promotion of QAnon, reports Huffington Post.