Skakel asks for reduction in murder sentencing - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Skakel asks for reduction in murder sentencing

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MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

Convicted killer and Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel and his lawyer claim the public doesn't need to be protected from him. That was one of his arguments as he appeared before a panel of judges Tuesday, looking to be released from jail early.

For years he's tried to get his conviction overturned, and now he is seeking to get out of the 20-years-to-life sentence he is currently serving.

Sentenced in 2002, Skakel feels 10 years behind bars is enough.

Skakel is the nephew of Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy and was convicted of the 1975 beating death of his neighbor Martha Moxley.

Prosecutors said he used a golf club to kill her.

In arguing for an early release, Skakel's attorney focused on his age, just 15 years old at the time of the murder. His lawyer also claims he's helped a number of people through his work with Alcoholics Anonymous and that he shouldn't be locked up because he's not a threat and that the public doesn't need to be protected from him.

In 2010, the State Supreme Court rejected his request for a new trial. That same year, he filed another appeal, claiming his trial attorney Mickey Sherman was incompetent.

Through it all, Skakel continues to insist he's innocent.

The judge panel will now decide whether Skakel will be released early, or spend the rest of his life in jail.

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