Thursday, March 22, 2012

THE NEXT INNOCENCE PROJECT: SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME AND THE CRIMINAL COURT

Please Read This:

http://lawreview.wustl.edu/inprint/87/1/dtuerkheimer.pdf

"Every year in this country, hundreds of people are convicted of having 
shaken a baby, most often to death. In a prosecution paradigm without 
precedent, expert medical testimony is used to establish that a crime 
occurred, that the defendant caused the infant’s death by shaking, and that 
the shaking was sufficiently forceful to constitute depraved indifference to 
human life. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is, in essence, a medical 
diagnosis of murder, one based solely on the presence of a diagnostic 
triad: retinal bleeding, bleeding in the protective layer of the brain, and 
brain swelling. 
New scientific research has cast doubt on the forensic significance of 
this triad, thereby undermining the foundations of thousands of SBS 
convictions. Outside the United States, this scientific evolution has 
prompted systemic reevaluations of the prosecutorial paradigm. In 
contrast, our criminal justice system has failed to absorb the latest 
scientific knowledge. This is beginning to change, yet the response has 
been halting and inconsistent. To this day, triad-based convictions 
continue to be affirmed, and new prosecutions commenced, as a matter of 
course."