Michael Skakel Released on Bond Pending Retrial
After serving 11 years for the murder of Martha Moxley, Michael Skakel has been freed on $1.2 million bond pending a retrial.
Skakel, the nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was 15 years old in 1975 when Martha Moxley was murdered. The crime went unsolved for more than 20 years and suspicion had always focused on his brother Tommy. After Dominick Dunne and Mark Fuhrman re-ignited interest in the case through their books, suspicion shifted to Skakel and in 2000, he was charged with murder. He was convicted at trial and sentenced to 20 years to life.
Had Michael Skakel been charged in 1975 when the murder occurred, he would have been tried in juvenile court and if convicted, received a sentence of no more than two years. That's how juveniles were treated back then in Connecticut.
At the time of the crime, there was a five year statute of limitation on murder, which had expired by the time Michael was charged. In upholding the conviction, the Court overruled its own 1983 precedent. (More on that below.)
I'm glad Skakel's conviction was overturned, but I don't agree his conviction was the result of inadequate representation at trial. Here's what I think went wrong at the Skakel trial and on appeal. A recap: [More...]
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