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Kowalski

Skakel to Get New Trial

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A Connecticut judge on Wednesday ordered a new trial for Michael C. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy who was convicted in 2002 of bludgeoning a neighbor with a golf club in 1975, saying his original lawyer had not represented him effectively.

The decision was another turn in a high-profile case that drew television crews and celebrity crime writers like Dominick Dunne. Judge Thomas A. Bishop set aside the murder conviction of Mr. Skakel, 53, who was sentenced to 20 years to life for killing the neighbor, Martha Moxley, when they were both teenagers in Greenwich.

The 136-page decision amounted to a review of the trial and an attack on the way Michael Sherman, the lawyer who represented Mr. Skakel before he was convicted, had handled his defense.

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/nyregion/skakel-gets-new-trial-in-75-killing-of-teenager-in-connecticut.html?_r=0

Also...

With a new trial ordered for Michael Skakel, a defense lawyer for the Kennedy cousin serving time in the 1975 slaying of a neighbor said he will seek his release from prison on bond.

Skakel's conviction was set aside Wednesday by a Connecticut judge, Thomas Bishop, who ruled that Skakel's trial attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was found guilty in 2002. Bridgeport State's Attorney John Smriga said prosecutors will appeal the decision.

Link: http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/kennedy-cousin-skakel-to-seek-release-on-bond?ocid=ansnews11

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My only comment is...what a crock! :no::td::whistle:

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My only comment is...what a crock! :no::td::whistle:

I know....this just goes to show that if you have the money, and the right last name you can get away with anything....

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I know....this just goes to show that if you have the money, and the right last name you can get away with anything....

Although I hear of the allegation of ineffective council argued often enough, I've read that it's both extremely difficult to prove and rarely ruled in favor of.

I agree with you; it appears to me that it wasn't evidence that influenced the judge's decision. :angry:

Edited by regi
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Although In hear of the allegation of ineffective council argued often enough, I've read that it's both extremely difficult to prove and rarely ruled in favor of.

I agree with you; it appears to me that it wasn't evidence that influenced the judge's decision. :angry:

This is one that I did follow and have to disagree with you Reg and Kowalski. Of course, I too feel as if this is happening for him because of his connections. However, I just didn't feel that the evidence in this case was enough to prove guilt. To me it was a maybe. I felt the "statements" he supposedly made in his therapy sessions was extremely questionable. :unsure2:

What evidence did you see that you thought was solid enough for conviction ?

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What evidence did you see that you thought was solid enough for conviction ?

Oh, heck, I don't remember all the evidence, but I do recall his DNA at the scene. (Remember his tree story? :whistle: )

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This is one that I did follow and have to disagree with you Reg and Kowalski. Of course, I too feel as if this is happening for him because of his connections. However, I just didn't feel that the evidence in this case was enough to prove guilt. To me it was a maybe. I felt the "statements" he supposedly made in his therapy sessions was extremely questionable. :unsure2:

What evidence did you see that you thought was solid enough for conviction ?

While walking through the Moxley's backyard, 15-year-old Sheila McGuire finds Martha dead under a pine tree. The murder weapon was a golf club, which was later matched to a set owned by the Skakel family.

Link: http://www.marthamox...eline/index.htm

Here is another good link:

Link: http://www.trutv.com.../updates_1.html

Edited by Kowalski
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Those are good links, Thanks ! I haven't gone over them entirely and should to refresh my memory.

And, yes, Regi, I do remember the tree story. Nothing should be funny here but I have to admit, that made me laugh ! However, I don't actually remember DNA evidence introduced. I went to Kowalski's links and only one of them mentioned DNA. One was eliminated as not being the babysitter's and the other seemed to being a Skakel but not a definite Skakel. Do you have a link re. DNA ? Even if it was found on her body, I wouldn't feel that was all together irrefutable. She had been with both boys, sitting in their car.... Hair could have been picked up there easily. Now if they found other DNA....ya' know from.... the tree....That's another thing.

What has always bothered me the most is the possible involvement of Tommy. His story did change pretty radically.

I should have said when I posted my first question. I think the entire Skakel family came across as pretty obnoxious and wouldn't mind it a bit if you change my mind. You know what I also thought of, they have given him a new trial based on inadequate representation. Well I doubt this was a court appointed attorney. That would mean, he didn't like the job the guy he hired did ! :no:

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And, yes, Regi, I do remember the tree story. However, I don't actually remember DNA evidence introduced. I went to Kowalski's links and only one of them mentioned DNA. One was eliminated as not being the babysitter's and the other seemed to being a Skakel but not a definite Skakel. Do you have a link re. DNA ? Even if it was found on her body, I wouldn't feel that was all together irrefutable. She had been with both boys, sitting in their car.... Hair could have been picked up there easily. Now if they found other DNA....ya' know from.... the tree....That's another thing.

For some reason, I thought there was DNA. :unsure2: I remembered my impression of the tree story...that I believed/believe it was a cover for something, and I remembered about her pulled down clothing...but I now recall that her body was drug to where it was found...

I didn't follow the trial; I've read various articles and I've also read a book about it....

Anyway, I think he's definitely guilty.

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No, prob, not remembering. I think I read the book too but I don't remember for sure :lol::)))

Anyway, it bothered me when Thomas' story changed and I didn't like the testimony from all of those in the drug rehab re. their memories of what was said. Heck, they were all there in the first place because of drugs. They all, including Michael, had to be strung out. On that jury I would have totally disregarded their testimony..........I can't even remember if I read that book or not and they are telling me they remember statements during that time from years ago.

The new trial should be interesting. Perhaps they will carry it on TV. I was still working then. Do you know if they carried the last one on TV ?

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No, prob, not remembering. I think I read the book too but I don't remember for sure :lol::)))

Right?! It sometimes surprises me what I'll forget. Especially if it's something I was once particularly familiar with. Also, you know, I'm constantly keeping myself updated with ongoing cases I've studied before while I'm researching those I haven't, and details of specific cases get a bit foggy. Of course, I usually remember my overall impression, but do like to revisit cases with a fresh perspective. B)

Anyway, it bothered me when Thomas' story changed

Are you saying that you suspect him, instead?

The new trial should be interesting. Perhaps they will carry it on TV. I was still working then. Do you know if they carried the last one on TV ?

I don't know if the first trial was televised, but I feel sure that this one will be

Edited by regi
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I'm just saying the change of Thomas' story had to happen for a reason. I believe his original story was that he was working on a paper that was due the next day. It was later determined there was no such school assignment. I also watched a documentary on the case and there was an interview with the baby sitter, who also said that he felt Thomas was not where he said he was. I believe the last story change actually took place after the book had come out. That is if we are all talking about the same book. The one I think I did read was the one written by the detective from the OJ Simpson case. I felt Michael just became the focus suspect due to his drug history and Thomas was just as viable suspect.

What bothered me the most about it though was the testimony from those in the recovery group going so unchallenged. I think here we are all three of us, trying so hard to remember things from books / tv shows that we read/watched and were interested in just a few years ago and it's difficult. People who come up with memories so far back that are so solid just bother me.

So what I'm trying to say is that it's not that I'm convinced that Thomas did it but they did not have enough solid evidence to prove that Michael did. I was stunned by the verdict and actually felt at the time it actually might have been backlash because of his Kennedy connections. Too many of them got away with too much and people were sick of it !

It will be an interesting trial to watch and we can all discuss ~~ even though you guys have me outnumbered ! :yes:

Edited by Vincennes
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I'm just saying the change of Thomas' story had to happen for a reason.

Well, that's definitely a red flag when a story changes!

I believe the last story change actually took place after the book had come out. That is if we are all talking about the same book.

Yeah, we are. It's the book by Mark Fuhrman, Murder In Greenwich.

So what I'm trying to say is that it's not that I'm convinced that Thomas did it but they did not have enough solid evidence to prove that Michael did.

Evidence aside, would you say that between the two of them, that Michael had the motive?

It will be an interesting trial to watch and we can all discuss ~~ even though you guys have me outnumbered ! :yes:

Well, you're not convinced and I am, but ultimately, we both want the same thing, right?! :yes:

It certainly will be interesting to see how this new defense performs, and I look forward to the discussion! :tu:

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The right perp was sent to jail and now he's being given a retrial!

Shows you what money can do.

And before I get the how can you say that posts, tell me how many 'ordinary' people can get a retrial?

This is Skakel country. An obnoxious family with an obvious view that the law serves them.

Well, damn if they're not right!!

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The right perp was sent to jail and now he's being given a retrial!

Actually, the state is appealing the judge's decision, so a retrial may not happen.

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Just like his uncle Ted ,Ted Kennedy killed a girl when he crashed his car.he left the car in the river and went home to sleep.

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Yamato, thank you so much for that post ! There did seem to fireworks between them but it also really encapsulated a lot of IMO very critical information to this case.

The Skakel's are such hard people to like, indeed ! They also seem to have the power of the Kennedy name still behind them. However, I do think there is a flip side to this coin. A lot of this was handled by the press and in books written for the perhaps for the purpose of sensationalism.

IMO opinion Toobin's opening comment regarding the fact there are a lot of people in prisons that have had bad attorney's and they are not receiving a new trial was entirely inappropriate. The inference in that is because of that Skakel should not receive one ? That then becomes an envious statement. Yes, he probably is receiving one because he has had the money to pursue it and others don't but that doesn't mean that he should stay in prison without the benefit of a new trial that a judge has ruled on in his favor. That would be saying he, because he does have money, does not deserve every benefit that our legal system allows. That is then condemning our entire legal system not just this judge's order for a new trial. The fact that this judge issued a 136 page opinion seems to mean he had something to say.

I also had to agree with Kennedy regarding Toome's statement re. Tommy Skakel. I found Kennedy's phrasing that there is more evidence regarding other people stated much more correctly. I put myself in Tommy Skakel's position. He was the one with Martha that night. Perhaps he liked the girl and feels badly about this. To be named prominently as her killer might just be painful even if he is a Kennedy. The flip side of the "being" a Kennedy coin.

Lastly, allowing the statements from a known heroin user who had died of an overdose before the trial took place was IMO ludicrous :td: The prosecution in their zest for conviction damaged this verdict themselves not the Kennedy money.

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Toobin is correct that the judges decision is an extremely rare one. I think Toobin made a poor attempt at trying to make the point that an attorney could fall asleep during proceedings and still not be ruled ineffective.

It sounds to me like the defense argument is that the defense didn't use enough smoke and mirrors to create reasonable doubt; specifically, that the original attorney didn't do enough finger pointing...and finger pointing at the brother, at that!

If I understand Kennedy correctly, he thinks it's fine to finger point during a trial, but it's not fine to finger point to the defendant. It seems to me, he's finger pointing now with that b.s. story of Tony Bryant's!

Also, I want to know precisely how far the cousin's house was because Kennedy said it was 11 miles from the neighborhood and I've seen it stated as 8 miles. (I don't like exaggeration because- for me- it seriously undermines credibility.)

Edited by regi
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The fireworks between Kennedy and Toobin over this were incredible!

[media=]http://youtu.be/VlUe_h5CHx4[/media]

Thanks for posting this.... :tu:

I think the problem here is that some people are just having a hard time believing that a Skakel, from a wealthy home and neighborhood, could kill a young girl like that....and this insane Tony Bryant story about a black guy and another guy, outsiders in the community, killed her.....complete rubbish. This was a very personal type crime, and what I mean by that is the sheer rage that the attacker felt when he killed her.

I still feel that Michael really did do this, but if he didn't do it, and that is a huge if, who did? I never believed Littleton did, as that was his first night there, as the Skakel boys tutor....and he had a alibi.....that leaves us with Tommy....it is strange the way he kept changing his story....

Edited by Kowalski
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Thanks for posting this.... :tu:

I think the problem here is that some people are just having a hard time believing that a Skakel, from a wealthy home and neighborhood, could kill a young girl like that....and this insane Tony Bryant story about a black guy and another guy, outsiders in the community, killed her.....complete rubbish. This was a very personal type crime, and what I mean by that is the sheer rage that the attacker felt when he killed her.

I still feel that Michael really did do this, but if he didn't do it, and that is a huge if, who did? I never believed Littleton did, as that was his first night there, as the Skakel boys tutor....and he had a alibi.....that leaves us with Tommy....it is strange the way he kept changing his story....

I felt the same way regarding the black guys in the Moxley "hood." What ? They were driving around in the dark just looking for girls who might be in a car in front of the Skakel house. That makes no sense to me what so ever. Kennedy went on to say there were multiple hairs found on Martha from a black person ? I never ever heard that before. I wonder if anyone else has.

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I still feel that Michael really did do this, but if he didn't do it, and that is a huge if, who did? I never believed Littleton did, as that was his first night there, as the Skakel boys tutor....and he had a alibi.....that leaves us with Tommy....it is strange the way he kept changing his story....

Littleton and Tommy Skakel were each others alibis.

Of course, there was definitely a reason Tommy's story changed, but it whatever it was, it wasn't to cover himself from the murder.

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I never ever heard that before. I wonder if anyone else has.

It was new to me, too.

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Littleton and Tommy Skakel were each others alibis.

I remember now! Been so long since I read all this....

I felt the same way regarding the black guys in the Moxley "hood." What ? They were driving around in the dark just looking for girls who might be in a car in front of the Skakel house. That makes no sense to me what so ever. Kennedy went on to say there were multiple hairs found on Martha from a black person ? I never ever heard that before. I wonder if anyone else has.

I never heard that before.

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Look what I found:

Henry Lee of the Connecticut State Crime Lab said that all the blood recovered from the Moxley death scene came from the victim. Perhaps so, because there seems to have been no struggle. However, there was a lot of blood splattered among the autumn leaves lying around Martha. "The police could have recorded and analyzed blood spatter on the ground and trees of the crime scene, but they did not," says Mark Fuhrman. "By the next morning, with the wind blowing the leaves all over the Moxley property... important blood evidence was lost forever."

Hair samples had been taken from several suspects, but the one human hair found on Martha's clothing — from a male Caucasian — did not match any of the suspects. One very interesting note is that the police also found a hair from a male African American in the blanket in which they wrapped the body of Martha Moxley. They immediately dismissed its importance, saying it had probably come from Dan Hickman, the Black officer who was one of the first on the crime scene. Why is this interesting? Because at this point, early in the investigation, the police were loudly advocating the premise that a drifter or vagabond might have been a killer. That being so, if they truly believed that they might be dealing with an "outside" force, the hair should have been highly suspect.

Link: http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/moxley/suspicion_4.html

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