Monday, January 6, 2014

"Shaken baby syndrome": Podcast illustrates how a new Medill Justice Project database is raising questions about patterns in prosecuting “shaken baby” cases - and challenging journalists to use the database findings to ascertain whether these cases are being investigated and prosecuted correctly in their respective areas; Student Press Law Centre.

STORY: "Podcast: New Medill database raises questions about prosecuting "shaken baby"  cases," by Franl LoMonte, published buy the Student Press Law Centre on December 19, 2013.

GIST: "In this month’s SPLC podcast, Medill Justice Project graduate fellow Lauryn Schroeder discusses how her team scoured news reports and court records to create a nationwide database of more than 3,000 instances over the past 25 years in which an infant death has been publicly attributed to shaking. Their online map shows that shaken-baby prosecutions are markedly more common in certain parts of the country, such as Summit County, Ohio, near Cleveland. Schroeder suggests that one reason might be publicity — once a highly publicized shaken-baby case takes place in a community, investigators and doctors begin looking more suspiciously at each subsequent death. As Schroeder discusses on the podcast, the data is raw and shouldn’t be taken to suggest that prosecutors in case-heavy jurisdictions are doing something wrong. It’s possible that the “hot spots” for prosecution are the only ones getting it right. Nevertheless, it’s illogical that caregivers in certain communities are three or four times more likely to shake babies to death than in other comparable locations, so the data tells us… something. Schroeder is hoping that journalists nationwide will take the Medill Justice Project searchable database and run with it, using information about their own areas to ask deeper questions about whether cases are being investigated and prosecuted correctly."


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.

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:
 I look forward to hearing from readers at:

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