Bad Blood: Brother Against Brother

A rather interesting article in The Advocate (Stamford, CT) caught my eye this week.  It was about Michael Skakel, who was convicted years ago of murdering a neighbor back when they were both teens, and an appeal he's successfully brought for a re-opening of the case.

What intrigued me was that, as part of the rationale for once again prying open the case, his lawyers did it on the basis that he received poor lawyering the first time around (even though the lawyer was celebrity Mickey Sherman, of NBC and CNN fame).  This, of course, happens 

But as part of the appeal, Skakel's new attorneys argued that Sherman didn't call the "right" witnesses to testify.  One of those witnesses was Thomas, Michael's older brother.

The case garnered so much attention because the Skakels were nephews of Ethel Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's widow.  (Another brother was accused of having sex with a minor, but he crashed into a tree skiing and died.)

According to a story by The Advocate's David Hennessey, Michael claimed that his brother lied about where he was the night the young neighbor, Martha Moxley, died, and that he's "capable of elaborate deception."

Now, I come from a family where the siblings don't like each other very much, either, but I'm not sure I would finger one of them to get myself out of prison.

In earlier reports, Thomas Skakel was linked to the murder, but Michael was the one who ended up with the smoking gun, er, golf club (how she was killed). Allegedly, one or both boys climbed a tree and pleasured themselves looking into Moxley's window the night she died, in the hours before.   They were both reportedly with her later that same night.

I guess what strikes me so strongly is that Michael is so desperate to get out of jail, after his 11 years there (he was sentenced to 20 years to life) that he would rat out his older brother.  If Thomas did do it, as was suspected for some time, then, okay.  And my heart would go out to Michael, who spent time in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

But I'm not so sure that's the case.  And if it isn't, that's a pretty lousy thing to do to a sibling. 

We may never know the truth about this, but this brother issue is circling uncomfortably in my brain. What kind of person would try to turn in his brother for a crime he didn't commit? But what kind of brother would let another rot in jail for a crime he did?


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