Bobby Kennedy Article on Skakel Denounced by Prosecutors

The lead prosecutor in the Michael Skakel/Martha Moxley murder trial had this to say about Bobby Kennedy Jr.'s recent war-and-peace-length attack on Skakel's trial and conviction in the new issue of Atlantic Monthly:
[Benedict called] Kennedy's long-winded defense "a series of distortions, facts taken wholly out of context, half-truths, untruths and . . . Skakel family revisionism."

"I find it surprising that a publication of Atlantic Monthly's repute would stray so far from its journalistic traditions," said prosecutor Jonathan Benedict, whose brilliant summation Kennedy credits for the jury's guilty verdict.

"It is hard to conceive of a more biased writer using more biased sources. . . . Except for its length, Mr. Kennedy's tale would be a better fit for a grocery-store tabloid."
Defense attorney Mickey Sherman, firing back against Kennedy's unfounded accusations against him, said:
he has "no regrets" about the way he handled the case except that "the jury came back with the wrong verdict."

He also zinged Kennedy for not coming to his cousin's defense sooner, pointing out the family were virtual no-shows during the trial.

"I only wish that Bobby had been there to see it," he said. "I think he would have had a different opinion." [Source: Jan. 14, 2003 Boston Herald]
Sherman's right. Bobby Kennedy, Jr. attended one day of the trial--closing arguments. Prior to the trial he attended one day of a pre-trial hearing. Kennedy, Jr. complains about Sherman's concern for and play to the media. Yet that's one the reasons Skakel hired Mickey--he is certainly a media savvy attorney and this was a high profile case, being played out in the news and in books by high profile authors Dominick Dunne and ex-OJ cop Mark Fuhrman before Skakel even got indicted. While Sherman was all over the airwaves before the trial, he didn't appear on a single television talk show from the day jury selection began until the trial was over.

During the trial, the news media camped out at the Norwalk courthouse. At the end of each day, and sometimes at the lunch recess, the Prosecutor, then Mickey and even the lawyer for non-appearing brother and former suspect Tommy Skakel answered media questions in the parking lot of the courthouse. Nothing unusual about that.

We have to wonder why, if the family now is so opposed to trying the case in the media, Bobby, Jr. wrote this article in the first place--and even more so, why the family has hired a public relations consultant for the appeal. And why, at Skakel family patriarch Rushton Skakel's funeral service last week, Duane Schenck, the P.R. consultant introduced himself to reporters "saying the family wanted to be more involved in the media."

We still believe the jury wrongly convicted Skakel for the reasons we set out here, and as to Kennedy's article, we only can point out that in this instance, hindsight is not 20/20.

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