The Freeing of Louise Woodward

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Louise Woodward's long American nightmare is over. The Massachusetts Supreme Court all but put the former au pair on a plane back to England Tuesday by backing Judge Hiller Zobel's decision to commute her sentence to manslaughter and let her go with time served. But it was a squeaker -- four judges said yes, three said no, ensuring that the death of baby Matthew Eappen will remain forever shrouded in controversy.

The Eappen family's fight will continue, in the form of a civil lawsuit for wrongful death. But as TIME legal correspondent Adam Cohen points out, that's not likely to lead anywhere if Louise heads home. "It's hard to sue people who live in other countries," says Cohen. "You don't get extradited for a civil lawsuit."

Still, the au pair will depart with a stinging dissent ringing in her ears: "As a felon convicted of a grave act of child abuse, Woodward should not in the future be entrusted with the care of the children of others," wrote the naysaying Justice Greaney. There was, he added, a need to prevent her from selling her story. A fine sentiment -- however, that will now be for the British press to decide.