Opinion: Skakel Decision A Referendum On The Writ
Lawyers are whispering now that the Supreme Court will find a reason, any reason at all, to reverse the Skakel decision. It's just too dangerous to let such a ruling stand. Think of all the claims this will encourage.
Skakel plans to seek release on bond. His family certainly has the means to post a substantial bond, and I suspect he will be released. That will be salt in the already never-ending wound the family of Martha Moxley, who was murdered by someone, endures.
The Supreme Court's decision in the Skakel case will serve as a referendum on the liberality of Connecticut's liberal grant of the right to file a writ of habeas corpus. Reversal of the trial court's decision that Sherman was ineffective would serve as a stake to the heart of a much-maligned writ.
There are cases in which lawyers err, and grievously so. This appears to be one of them. There's little doubt that Sherman spent more time in the make-up room primping for prime time than he did pouring over police reports prepping for trial.
All eyes now are on the Supreme Court. Does the writ of habeas corpus mean anything in Connecticut any longer? Or do we value finality of judgments against all else, even the prospect of keeping an innocent man behind bars?•