It was a stunning day in a courtroom in Los Angeles as jurors in the manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's doctor were shown a coroner's photo of the pop superstar, dead, lying nude on a table. This raises the question -- was it necessary to show it?
(The photo is at the bottom of this story. It is graphic, so you can decide for yourself whether you want to see it.)
The photo shows a rail-thin, 136 pound Jackson with gauze covering several puncture wounds on his arms, his chest bruised and caved-in from broken ribs in the desperate attempt to save his life.
Prosecutors admitted the photo into evidence while questioning the coroner's decision to rule the death a homicide, the New York Daily News reports.
Dr. Christopher Rogers said he came to that conclusion because Dr. Conrad Murray admitted to police that he gave Jackson propofol and other sedatives to help Jackson sleep.
Murray contends that he gave Jackson just a single dose of propofol, but then when he left the room for just two minutes Jackson gave himself the dose that killed him.
Rogers said during testimony that he doubts this story. He said Jackson would not have had time to wake up, shake off the grogginess from the first dose, give himself more, and then have the drug travel to his brain which caused the overdose.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
The photo was certainly dramatic evidence, but why show it? Jurors already know Jackson is dead; did they really need to see the photo to prove that?
Showing the photo in open court also means the entire world will see it. Do we all need to see it?