Friday, August 31, 2012

Jennifer Del Prete: Medill Innocence Project barred access to infant's brain scans in shaken baby syndrome murder case;

STORY: "Judge bars access to infant's medical records: Medill Innocence Project investigation seeks brain scans," published by the Medill Innocence Project on August 28, 2012.

GIST: "A federal judge on Tuesday blocked access to brain scans of a deceased infant, detailed medical images the Medill Innocence Project is seeking as part of its investigation of the first-degree murder conviction of an Illinois daycare worker who says she was wrongfully convicted. In Chicago, U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly granted Northwestern University’s petition, on behalf of the Medill Innocence Project, to intervene in the case as a journalistic enterprise aiming to inform the public. But the judge denied the university’s motion to access medical records involved in the case. “Why should I disregard their privacy interests?” Kennelly asked at the hearing, referring to infant’s family. “It’s about as private as anything I can imagine.”........Medill undergraduate students have been probing the shaken-baby syndrome case since last March as part of an investigative journalism class supported by the Medill Innocence Project. The case hinges on complex medical understanding of a 3 1/2-month-old infant’s condition when she lost consciousness under the supervision of former Romeoville, Ill., daycare worker Jennifer Del Prete in 2002. A Will County judge sentenced Del Prete to 20 years in prison in 2005 for allegedly shaking Isabella Zielinski, resulting in her death nearly a year later. Given medical advances over the past decade, the detailed medical images found in the MRI and CT scans could shed light on what caused Isabella’s death, according to Northwestern Professor Alec Klein, director of the Medill Innocence Project. Del Prete awaits a hearing expected in December as part of her federal appeal."

The entire story can be found at:


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.