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Killer Kennedy Cousin Michael Skakel's Murder Conviction Vacated

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May 10 2018, Updated 6:06 p.m. ET

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The Connecticut Supreme Court has overturned Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel's conviction for the murder of 15-year-old Martha Moxely.

It was over 40 years ago while the two were neighbors that Moxely was found bludgeoned to death with an axe in the exclusive Greenwich community.

The court voted 4-3 that Skakel's initial trial lawyer was so ineffective that his right to a fair trial was violated.

Skakel, the nephew of Robert Kennedy‘s widow, Ethel Kennedy, was convicted in 2002 of killing Moxely and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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But in 2013 he was released while the court considered his latest appeal.

As previously reported, John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy has been fighting for her cousin's pardon since the Obama presidency.

Following the court's decision, Skakel's lawyers released a brief statement.

“The decision by Judge Bishop is one of the great habeas decisions issued in the history of Connecticut jurisprudence,” the statement read.

Michael Skakel

Skakel has maintained his innocence since his first interview with police in 1975.

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