Woodward Judges Cut the Attorneys No Slack

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BOSTON: It was supposed to be a hearing of arguments, but Massachusetts Supreme Court justices did more talking than listening when the Louise Woodward case went to appeal Monday. Normally silent in such instances, their honors were playing devil's advocate -- so much so that both Woodward attorney Andrew Good and Assistant D.A. Sabita Singh seemed to be caught off guard. "That's an amazing suggestion," interrupted one justice. "So say you," retorted another. It may not have been quite as explosive as Friday's electrical fire, but it was certainly as unexpected.

At issue here: Can the British au pair return to England with a sentence of time served? Or should Judge Hiller Zobel's decision to impose a manslaughter verdict be overturned, and Woodward sent back to jail for the murder of baby Matthew Eappen? To solve that question, the justices have to crack a whole host of conundrums: Did the prosecution prejudice the trial by withholding details about Matthew's skull fracture, for example? Don't hold your breath for the answer -- the court has 130 days to make up its mind.