Monday, September 14, 2015

Bulletin: Shaken Baby Syndrome: New York Times explores its origin, development and ramifications as "a diagnosis that divides the medical world" through innovative "retro videos" - with a focus on the Louise Woodward 'British au pair' case. (Fascinating approach to the issues. HL);

Countdown to Wrongful Conviction Day:  Friday, October 2,  2105; 18 days. For information:

 "The video’s starting point is a Massachusetts criminal case that introduced the concept of shaken baby syndrome to many Americans: the 1997 murder trial of Louise Woodward, an 18-year-old British au pair accused of having shaken an 8-month-old boy, Matthew Eappen, so aggressively that he died. Matthew also had injuries that may have predated Ms. Woodward’s joining the Eappen family in Newton, outside Boston. The focus, however, was on the triad of symptoms. To prosecution witnesses, they proved that the baby had been shaken violently, his head hitting some hard surface. Throughout, Ms. Woodward insisted on her innocence. But a jury in state court found her guilty of second-degree murder, and she was sentenced to a prison term of 15 years to life. Within days, though, the trial judge called the murder conviction an injustice. He knocked down the charge to involuntary manslaughter, reducing the young woman’s sentence to time already served, 279 days. Many in Massachusetts and beyond were outraged. Nonetheless, Ms. Woodward was free to return to England."