Michael Skakel Homicide Trial

Connecticut prosecutors in a murder trial involving Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel made effective use in their closing arguments of a compelling multimedia montage. The audio-visual display featured a taped interview with Skakel’s voice, recorded by an author he’d hired to ghostwrite his autobiography. Jurors simultaneously heard Skakel talk about the night of Moxley’s murder and saw a transcript of his words. Graphics flashed on the screen, emphasizing key words in red. When Skakel uttered the words “I had a feeling of panic” a photo of Moxley’s body at the crime scene also appeared on the screen.

Needless to say, Skakel’s lawyers were less enthusiastic about the prosecution’s use of the audio-visual montage summation. They called the display a “made-for-conviction movie” that fabricated a confession. On appeal, the Supreme Court of Connecticut saw no merit in the defense lawyers’ charges.

21st Century (first animation to be admitted into Pennsylvania criminal courts showing positional relationship between defendant and decedent based on visualization of trajectory of bullets from shooter’s .44 magnum; self-defense theory effectively countered by positional and distance information provided)