A New California Law Brings Hope of An Appeal For Lyle And Erik Menendez

Chrissie Williams

Before there was a trial for O.J. Simpson, Jodi Arias, or Amanda Knox, there was Erik and Lyle Menendez. It was the first trial that was televised and America couldn't get enough. They wanted all the gory details of the murders, and as far as the public was concerned, the juicer the better.

The Menendez brothers were filthy stinking rich teens that claimed that their father physically, emotionally, and sexually abused them. To end the abuse, they decide to kill both parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, by slaughtering them with a shotgun.

The parents' death was a horrifying scene. Jose Menendez died almost instantly. Kitty, however, wasn't as lucky. The boys missed when they aimed at her, and they had to reload their gun which took a few minutes. Imagine how scared she must have been waiting for her own children to come back to kill her?

On Sunday, October 2, Snapped: Notorious--The Menendez Brothers aired on Oxygen and dug deep into the case that captivated America in the 1990s. The 27-year-old case is still as intriguing as it was in 1992. Were the Menendez brothers monsters that brutally murdered their parents for money or were they victims of years of abuse and forced into killing their parents to protect themselves?

E Online reports that several years ago a new California law was passed which states that if the abuse the defendant suffered was not allowed to be mentioned in their trial, they could file an appeal. For the Menendez brothers, this was the break they had been waiting nearly three decades for. They felt certain that if the judge allowed them to bring up the alleged abuse in the second trial, they wouldn't have been found guilty of first-degree murder. At the moment, the Menendez brothers do not have a new court date. They are hoping to file an appeal and appear in court before 2020, the deadline to file the appeal under the new law.

If the brothers would go to trial today, would they be able to convince another jury or even an appeal judge that they shouldn't spend the rest of their lives in prison? The big question in the Menendez brothers trial was not, did they commit the crime. They admitted they killed their parents early in the investigation. The big question was always "why did they decide to kill both of their parents?"

[Feature Image by Nick Ut/AP Images]