Skakel finally free?

michael Skakel.jpg

The 1975 brutal murder of 15-year-old  Belle Haven resident Martha Moxley was the story of the year(s) here in Greenwich, and though it faded after a while, it came roaring back in 2000, when neighbor Michael Skakel was arrested for the crime, Skakel was also 15 at the time of the murder, but was tried as an adult and sentenced to twenty years in prison after his conviction.

He served twelve years of that term before finally winning an appeal, based on the incompetence of his trial attorney, Mickey Sherman, who seemed to have spent more time during the trial preening on television talk shows than representing his client. Since then there have been appeals, reversals, and, today, what may be the final resolution: Martha Moxley's mother is quoted as saying that, after 45 years, she's inclined to finally give up pursuing the man.

Any parent can understand the agony of losing a child, especially to a horrid murder, but there has alway been a suspicion among many, including myself, and expressed here over the years, that the wrong Skakel was put on trial, and that older brother Tommy was the real murderer: certainly that was the consensus of his peers at the time, though of course that's not even evidence, let alone proof.

But Sherman never put Tommy on the stand Sherman was being paid by the brothers' parents, and there were claims that he was ordered to pursue a strategy of claiming unknown perpetrators, rather than focus on the other Skakel), never pursued alibis, and in general, did a better job performing on the Geraldo Rivera Show than he did in the courtroom. It seemed to me that the state, the jury, and even Mrs. Moxley didn't care which of the two brothers actually committed the crime, so long as one of them was convicted.

We'll probably never know. 

UPDATE: The NY Post has a more thorough report than the Greenwich Time article I linked to above, but it essential covers the same group this post does.