Friday, March 9, 2012

Ernie Lopez: "Free, But Not Cleared: Ernie Lopez Comes Home." ProPublica.

STORY: Free, but not cleared: Ernie Lopez comes home, by A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, and Catherine Upin, PBS "Frontline," published on March 5, 2012.

GIST: "Lopez's story reflects a broader controversy. Increasing numbers of doctors and other experts are questioning the reliability of the science used to prosecute cases of fatal child abuse and sexual assault. In Canada and the U.S. at least 23 people who were wrongly accused [7] of killing children based on flawed or biased work by forensic pathologists have been cleared over the last 15 years. The Texas court's ruling set the stage for Lopez to be released Friday on a $10,000 bond. His release order bars him from initiating contact with children, though he is allowed to spend time with his three children. It also requires him to wear an electronic monitoring anklet and to abide by a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. At his parents' home on the outskirts of Amarillo, Lopez celebrated the events and holidays he missed during his long confinement. The family even put up a Christmas tree. While Lopez was overjoyed to be reunited with his family and friends, Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims has signaled his intent to retry Lopez on sexual assault charges. Sims recently declined to talk about the details of the case with ProPublica, PBS "Frontline," and NPR. Throughout the appeals process, prosecutors have maintained that Lopez assaulted Vas, and have enlisted an array of medical professionals to support that contention."

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: The prosecution of Ernie Lopez became the subject of a joint investigation conducted by NPR, Frontline and ProPublica which exposed the flaws inherent in basing criminal charges on the so-called "Shaken Baby Syndrome." Although a new trial was granted on the basis of inadequate representation of counsel, the joint investigation makes clear that Lopez was convicted because of misguided "science" and a prosecutorial mindset which is still evident in the apparent determination of prosecutors to subject Lopez to a new trial.




I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

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.