(Hartford Courant) A divided state Supreme Court Friday reinstated the murder conviction of Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel, rejecting a Superior Court judge's finding that Skakel's trial was tainted by ineffective lawyering and setting the stage for Skakel's return to prison after three years of freedom.
"Because we conclude that the petitioner's trial counsel rendered constitutionally adequate representation, we reverse the judgment" of the lower court, a 4-3 majority of the Supreme Court wrote in a decision released Friday afternoon.
In a sharply worded dissent, Justice Richard Palmer criticized the majority's decision, saying trial lawyer Mickey Sherman's failure to pursue a potential alibi witness and to point blame at Skakel's brother Thomas robbed Skakel of a fair trial. He accused the majority of endorsing the outcome of a trial "literally riddled with highly prejudicial attorney incompetence."
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