Michael Skakel, first cousin of the Kennedys, including JFK, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has had his murder conviction in the death of Martha Moxley reinstated by Connecticut’s highest court. Skakel had claimed that his attorney, Michael (Mickey) Sherman had provided inadequate representation, but the Connecticut Supreme Court does not agree.
Dominick Dunne, who covered the Skakel case, and even wrote about it in a work of fiction called A Season in Purgatory, followed the case with the same rabid fervor in which he covered the O.J. Simpson trial, according to the Inquisitr. Dunne had nasty interactions with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who believed that his cousin was innocent, and that Dunne was trying to railroad him. But Dunne has been dead for several years, and the belief that Michael Skakel did indeed kill Martha Moxley when the two were teenagers. But while Skakel’s cousin Robert Kennedy, Jr. believes that Skakel’s connections to the Kennedy family is what got him arrested, it also seems likely that the special treatment during appeal was largely due to Kennedy cache.
According to the Boston Globe, the highest court in Connecticut believes that Mickey Sherman did an acceptable job representing Michael Skakel in the case of the murder of Martha Moxley. During this appeal, Michael Skakel was allowed out of prison on bail, but it seems he will now be heading back behind bars to serve out the rest of his sentence.
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Skakel’s appellate team argued that Sherman did not throw enough probable cause towards the idea that it was indeed Thomas (Tommy) Skakel that killed Martha Moxley that Halloween night in 1975. They also thought that he did not do a good enough job at discrediting a witness from a Maine rehab center where Skakel sought help for his lifelong addiction issues.
Justice Peter T. Zarella wrote a 69 page majority opinion upholding the convection of Michael Skakel for the murder of Martha Moxley, and says the lawyer Mickey Sherman provided acceptable representation to his client.
“We conclude… that Sherman’s performance was not deficient and thus could not have deprived the petitioner of a constitutionally adequate defense.”
But Sherman says that this decision doesn’t make him feel any better.
“I know I’m supposed to feel vindicated. But honestly, I don’t. The bottom line is that Michael Skakel was wrongfully convicted on my watch.”
The New York Times also reported that the Connecticut high court believes that Michael Skakel’s murder conviction in the bludgeoning death of Martha Moxley should be upheld. But first cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr. still believes it would be a great mistake to send Skakel back to prison.
“I don’t think he’s O.K. going back to prison for a crime he didn’t commit while the real murderers are on the street because the State of Connecticut can’t admit it made a horrible mistake by convicting him in the first place.”
Kennedy believed so much in his cousin’s innocence that he wrote a book about the case, and about Michael Skakel, portraying him as a gentle soul. The title of the book says it all.
Framed: Why Michael Skakel Spent Over a Decade in Prison for a Murder He Didn’t Commit.
Kennedy puts forward several other “better” choices about who could have murdered Moxley that he says were never investigated properly after they had a Kennedy cousin on the line. Kennedy puts forward the names Burton Tinsley and Adolph Hasbrouck, who also had a connection to the local school and the neighborhood. A source reported that these two men, who were teens at the time, wanted to go out and attack a girl “caveman style.”
Do you think Michael Skakel will be taken back to prison, or will RFK, Jr.’s book create more doubt?
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]