Michael Skakel Granted a New Trial

Oct 23, 2013

In a decision, Honorable Thomas Bishop pointed to defense counsel as ineffective.
Credit State of Connecticut Judicial Branch

From the Associated Press in New Haven:

A Connecticut judge has granted a new trial for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, ruling his attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor in 1975. Judge Thomas Bishop's ruling marks a dramatic reversal after years of unsuccessful appeals by Skakel. 

Skakel is the 52-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy and is serving 20 years to life. Bridgeport State's Attorney John Smriga said prosecutors will appeal.

Skakel argued trial attorney Michael Sherman was negligent in defending him when he was convicted in the golf club bludgeoning of Martha Moxley when they were 15 in wealthy Greenwich. His current attorney called the case weak. Prosecutors contended Sherman's efforts far exceeded standards and that the verdict was based on compelling evidence.