The Connecticut Supreme Court, in a surprising reversal of its own decision less than two years ago, ruled on Friday to vacate the conviction of Michael C. Skakel, who had been found guilty of bludgeoning his neighbor with a golf club in 1975.
The ruling is not only the latest of the many twists in a legal battle that has been drawn out over decades, but could stand as the conclusion of a case that has attracted the attention of tabloids and television newsmagazines with its blend of a cold-case murder with celebrity and wealth.
Mr. Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, had been convicted in 2002 of killing Martha Moxley, a 15-year-old in his Greenwich, Conn., neighborhood. Mr. Skakel, also 15 at the time of the killing, was not arrested until he was in his late 30s. He was convicted after a three-week trial that brought to light details including his drinking and drug use.
He had initially been sentenced to 20 years to life for murder. He had spent more than a decade behind bars before he was released in 2013, when a judge vacated his original sentence after finding that his lawyer had not provided effective representation. In a 2016 decision, the Supreme Court ruled to reinstate the conviction, disagreeing with the lower-court judge’s finding. Prosecutors will now have to decide whether they will try the case again.
Source link : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/04/nyregion/michael-skakel-conviction-reversed.html
Publish date : 2018-05-04 20:34:27