Legal Analyst Coffey: Kennedy Cousin's Appeal a 'Tough' Case

Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 06:03 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Prosecutors will have difficulty getting Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel reconvicted in the grisly 1975 murder of a 15-year-old schoolgirl because the case is so old, attorney and legal analyst Kendall Coffey says.

"It's going to be very tough. It was a very difficult case to successfully prosecute back when they got the conviction in 2002. It just becomes that much more difficult now," Coffey told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.



"Time is almost always on the defendants' side and … whether it's a personal injury case or something as serious as prosecution for murder, it's always more difficult to prove your case after years and years have passed."

Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel, has been serving 20 years behind bars for the slaying of Martha Moxley, who was savagely beaten with a golf club.

His conviction was set aside on Wednesday by a Connecticut judge, Thomas Bishop, who ruled that Skakel's lawyer, famed criminal attorney Mickey Sherman, had not adequately represented him.

The original conviction came in 2002, some 27 years after the crime, after a veteran lawman uncovered new evidence.

"Many times the defendant turns and tries to put his own attorney on trial and say its ineffective assistance of counsel," Coffey said.

"Amazing as it seems, how does somebody who's wealthy not have the best lawyer? His lawyers certainly have a great reputation but when you go through this judge's order, you have some real, real concerns about what happened during the trial."

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