Woody's Legacy in Case Law
There are three types of legal cases which may be used to hold those responsible for the deadly attack on Woody accountable: state charges of homicide, federal charges of violation of the victim's civil liberties, and civil complaints by the victim's family. The state went to great lengths to assure that the homicide case never reached court, blocking the civil case at every turn, and employing the resources of the Attorney General's office to craft a report capable of concealing the crucial facts of the case, and never submitting the case to a grand jury. There is no apparent evidence the federal investigation by the Department of Justice was an investigation in anything other than name only. It did have the effect of blocking the civil case for its duration.
As of December, 2003, no charges have been filed persuant to the following investigations.
- the State's investigation of unjustified use of force against the victim
- the Department of Justice investigation into violations of the victim's civil rights
- Justice for Woody's investigation into objstruction of Justice by William Sorrell and Howard Dean
As of January, 2006, the Woodwards are still waiting for their day in court.
Although, in a perfect world, one would expect the state's investigation and possible prosecution to complement the efforts of the family to achieve justice through a civil suit, in fact the state vigorously blocked the attempts of lawyers for the family to even obtain evidence through the normal discovery process.