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Martha Coakley (D)

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Martha Coakley
Martha Coakley

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, 56, has worked in law for 20 years, starting out as a civil defense attorney and then becoming a prosecutor under then-Middlesex District Attorney Scott Harshbarger. Those who worked with Coakley say she was fearless in the cases she took on and dogged in her approach. She rose quickly up the ranks and was elected attorney general in 2006.

  • Prosecuted au pair Louise Woodward in the high-profile shaken-baby death
  • Argued against letting convicted child molester Gerald “Tookie” Amirault out of prison early
  • As Middlesex district attorney, oversaw the successful prosecution of priests John Geoghan and Paul Shanley for sexual abuse
  • As attorney general, argued for ethics reform in the State House and the rights of same-sex couples to marry
  • In 2008, dropped criminal charges against Big Dig contractor Bechtel Parsons Brinkerhoff in exchange for a $458 million settlement, after admitting responsibility for leaks in the tunnels and the ceiling collapse
  • B.A. from Williams College, 1975, J.D. degree from Boston University Law School, 1979
  • Lives in Medford with her husband, Thomas F. O'Connor Jr.

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This program aired on November 1, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.



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