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Murray’s attorneys relied largely on 34 letters from relatives, friends and former patients to portray Murray in a softer light and win a lighter sentence. The letters and defense filings described Murray’s compassion as a doctor, including accepting lower payments from his mostly poor patients.

“There is no question that the death of his patient, Mr. Jackson, was unintentional and an enormous tragedy for everyone affected,” defense attorneys wrote in their sentencing memo.

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AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch and writer Jeff Wilson contributed to this report.

Follow Anthony McCartney at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP