Sunday, January 24, 2010

Martha Coakley was bad for Obama

Last night my uncle, a toxicologist/pathologist, was telling me about a Texas father who has been accused of "shaken baby syndrome" that allegedly resulted in the death of his infant daughter. My uncle uses differential diagnosis to determine the causes of death in many cases, and often the defense team is assisted by other experts, including doctors. My uncle's testimony in court quickly reversed the momentum in favor of the defense, so he was understandably happy. He mentioned that the doctor who testified (for the defense) in this case also testified in defense of a British nanny who was accused of murder in Massachusetts in the 1990s. That murder case was prosecuted by Martha Coakley: "In the late 1990s, she prosecuted the British nanny Louise Woodward, though the judge reduced a verdict of second degree murder to involuntary manslaughter in the highly publicised baby-shaking case."

If you are unfamiliar with Martha Coakley and why the Massachusetts Senate race was so important, watch this excellent introduction by Jon Stewart.

My uncle told me that the jury found Louise Woodward guilty, but the judge believed she was innocent. According to my uncle, the judge sentenced Woodward to probation, and eventually she moved back to the UK, where she became a lawyer and is now defending other people who may be falsely accused of murder or child endangerment.

Today I decided to do a little more research on Coakley and found this comment on Daily Kos, posted on Sept 1, 2009:
Without going into a rant (that started back in the 90s with her shameful handling of the English Nanny case), I will just say that this woman is NOT Senatorial material, and challenge anyone to prove me wrong. She would not only be unable to fill those shoes, but would in fact embarrass the Commonwealth from day one.

Jon Stewart also had a poignant reaction to Coakley's loss and her comment about her dogs being happy about the loss:

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