Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has become the first to announce her candidacy for Senator Kennedy's seat.
In 1997 Martha Coakley came to prominence in Massachusetts because of her relentless prosecution of Louise Woodward in the alleged baby-shaking death of Matthew Eappen. She obtained a murder conviction which was reduced by Judge Zoebel on appeal.
In 1993 as Middlesex County prosecutor Coakley obtained a conviction against Lowell MA, grandparents Ray and Shirley Souza on sex-abuse charges using "repressed memory" evidence. Judge Elizabeth Dolan allowed the Souzas to serve their sentence under house arrest.
Coakley has also been involved in the campaign to preserve the infamous Fells Acres convictions, part of the 1980s wave of prosecutions of alleged sexual abuse in day care centers.
Martha Coakley is no Ted Kennedy.