Saturday, November 24, 2012

"Shaken Baby Syndrome": Medill Innocence Project compares the American and British approaches - with disturbing conclusions. (Part one);

 STORY:"Shaken Baby Syndrome: US resists conviction reform, unlike England."  (This is the first of a three-part series discussing Shaken-Baby Syndrome.)

GIST:  "Medical experts and criminal justice professionals disagree over the science behind SBS, because it is relatively new. Irish barrister Alison Enright is a visiting scholar at Medill. She is comparing the United Kingdom’s assessment of shaken baby syndrome with that of the US. In the UK, the three symptoms that suggest SBS—retinal bleeding, brain swelling, and brain bleeding—are not enough to prove  attempted murder or assault by the caretaker. The US courts have been basing their convictions of shaken-baby cases on the existence of this evidence. A press release from Medill quotes Enright, saying: “Despite the growing international recognition of the dangers and flaws inherent in prosecutions based on the triad of injuries, the United States continues to adhere to the classic shaken-baby syndrome prosecution paradigm, raising a real possibility that miscarriages of justice continue to occur and innocent people are being wrongfully convicted.”  The US and UK have generally agreed that the triad of symptoms existed in each SBS case. By making this connection, they shrouded the existence of the symptoms in the righteous, untouchable glow brought on by the label of “science,” like they have for many other archaic scientific determinants that led to false convictions—fingerprints, lie detectors, hair follicle examinations, footprint comparisons, and even poor observation and assumption in blood testings. We now, especially of late, know that all of these and SBS are barely science. Both countries have taken it to the extreme and convicted solely based upon the existence of this triad of evidence."

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The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.