Skakel seeks release pending appeal
NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Lawyers for Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel on Monday appealed a decision denying him bail while he challenges his conviction for the 1975 slaying of a teenage neighbor.
The appeal challenges the constitutionality of a 1998 law that denies bail to convicted murderers. It also rejects the notion that Skakel, who has a 3-year-old son, is a flight risk, saying he could live at his home in Windham, N.Y., with an electronic monitoring device.
"The defendant is devoted to his child and he would never do anything to jeopardize his relationship with his son," lawyers Hubert Santos and Hope Seeley wrote.
Skakel, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, was convicted in June of beating Martha Moxley to death with a golf club when they were 15-year-old neighbors in Greenwich.
Skakel, 41, was sentenced last month to 20 years to life in prison and is being held at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown.
Pending his challenge of the conviction, Skakel was ordered held under the 1998 bail law and because Superior Court John Kavanewsky Jr. deemed him a flight risk.
Skakel's attorneys maintain the bail law violates the separation of powers provision of the Connecticut Constitution. The law, they say, took away a court's ability to consider "special circumstances" in homicide cases.
Skakel plans to appeal the conviction because the statute of limitations in effect in 1975 for murder was five years, his attorneys said. They also plan to argue that he should have been tried as a juvenile, not an adult.
Deputy Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano, who successfully argued the state's denial of bail, said prosecutors would reply in court to Monday's motion.