Thursday, April 19, 2007

Michael Skakel Draws the Media

This morning your scribe paid a visit to the Stamford Courthouse on other business, and found himself forced to park way up on the roof of the garage because of the huge interest of both the television and print media in the Michael Skakel hearing to determine whether he should receive a new trial. Court TV was there, broadcasting live, and Channel 3 from Hartford, and who knows who all else.

But perhaps because of the live coverage, there were actually seats to be found in Courtroom 6A. Your scribe took a pew behind Michael's mammoth bodyguard, which limited his vision to some extent. Mostly the bruiser blocked the view of the ineffable Judge Edward Karazin, which your scribe did not count as any serious loss. The proceedings were not exactly what you might call scintillating, so your faithful reporter took occasion to see who was who amongst the spectators.

Aside from the usual journalistic rabble, it became obvious that the right side of the courtroom was Moxley territory, and the left side was Skakel turf. Since Michael and his attorneys were seated to the left, and the State's attorneys to the right, this made a certain amount of sense. Dorthy Moxley was there with her son in the right front row, and assorted Skakel brothers and retainers (like the enormous bodyguard) took up the front rows on the left. Michael sat impassive, looking straight ahead; his role in this hearing is a non-speaking one. Fifth Amendment rights, and all that.

Mickey Sherman was out in the hallway, and your scribe asked if he were there as a spectator or a witness. "Witness," he replied. Which probably explained why he wasn't inside the courtroom: one side or the other had presumably asked that he be sequestered. How one sequesters a witness from continuous Court TV coverage - particularly a witness who himself has made frequent appearances in front of their cameras - is an interesting conundrum; but no doubt Mickey's testimony has been predetermined well in advance, so it likely doesn't matter in the long run.

After about ten minutes of the judicial equivalent of watching paint dry, your scribe felt he had seen and heard enough for the time being. But lest you think that nothing much is going on in and around Town these days, dear reader, he hastens to file this report. There is always entertainment to be found in the vicinity of Greenwich if you know where to look for it.


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