- STORY: "New science would let Folbigg go free," by reporter Eamonn Duff, published on February 3, 2013 in the Sun-Herald.
- GIST: "One of Australia's top forensic law authorities believes the convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg would walk free from jail if granted a retrial today - because of inaccurate evidence presented at her original trial. Gary Edmond, a legal expert in forensic science at the University of NSW, believes a recent review of case material demonstrates that Folbigg's trial was tainted by unreliable, misleading and now outdated medical evidence. ''It is quite likely that experts provided evidence at the trial which they might not give today - and this needs to be reconsidered because you can't have someone remain in jail just because they were prosecuted at a particular point in time … especially if the science has moved on,'' he said. Professor Edmond pointed to Jeffrey Gilham and Gordon Wood, both of whom suffered a miscarriage of justice due to flawed forensic submissions, and argued there was a ''very real possibility'' that Folbigg had suffered the same fate. ''In the past few years, there have been startling revelations about problems across forensic science and medicine which should give us even more pause for what has gone in the past, particularly in controversial areas.'' Folbigg is serving a reduced sentence of 25 years after she was convicted in 2003 of murdering her children Patrick, eight months, Sarah, 10 months, and Laura, 19 months, between 1991 and 1999, and the 1989 manslaughter of her son Caleb, aged 19 days. While the causes of death were never determined, a picture emerged during the trial of an emotionally fragile mother with a personality disorder - whose damaging diary entries were interpreted as literal admissions of guilt. But Folbigg has always maintained her innocence and Professor Edmond argues that with no scientific evidence proving any of her babies were murdered, the diary extracts alone are ''insufficient'' to keep her in jail, adding: ''They add verse but, you also have to say, they're pretty ambiguous.''.........Dr Cunliffe and Professor Edmond are not the only voices calling on Mr Smith to reopen the case. Professor John Hilton, who conducted the autopsy on Folbigg's second child, Sarah, in 1993, agrees a review is ''warranted''. Professor Hilton, who was called by the prosecution as a witness in the Folbigg trial, said: ''We live in a changing world. Medicine and science never stand still - they progress. Now obviously, I sit on the medical and scientific side of all this … but it seems to me the conviction stood, or was based on, the diaries … which were open to multiple interpretations.'' He added: ''If you read the court transcripts, you will see that my evidence was hardly favourable to the prosecution's case.'' Professor Stephen Cordner, who is foundation director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, believes Dr Cunliffe's analysis demonstrates Folbigg was ''wrongly convicted''. ''It can only be a matter of time before there's a formal review of this case … it's been happening all over the world,'' he said. He added: ''While homicide was a possibility, there was no pathology evidence to support it.'' Of Folbigg's diary extracts, Professor Cordner said: ''It is well recognised that self-blame is a common response to infant death."
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.