Thursday, May 2, 2013

Jennifer Del Prete; Medill Justice Project's efforts to access key medical evidence pay off in shaken-baby syndrome case. Alison Flowers.

STORY: "Key medical evidence turned over in shaken-baby syndrome case: Medill Justice Project sought records for a year," published by Alison Flowers, published by the Medill Justice Project on April 30, 2013.

GIST: "The Medill Justice Project has obtained thousands of pages of medical records, including copies of CT scans and MRIs of an infant’s head, which the attorney for a Chicago-area day care worker says undermines her first-degree murder conviction. At Jennifer Del Prete’s 2004-2005 trial, an emergency room physician testified the infant’s brain bleed—also known as a subdural hematoma—likely was up to a week old when she was brought to the hospital. The defense’s expert medical witness testified then the brain bleed was as many as 10 days old. The newly-released medical records indicate the infant’s brain bleed was older—at a minimum 14 days—which could mean the bleeding could have started before Del Prete began caring for the infant at a Romeoville, Ill., home day care, according to her attorney, Patrick W. Blegen. “We think the medical records, when combined with the testimony, are very significant because they show that the chronic subdural hematoma was at least two weeks old and likely older than that,” Blegen said. “The critical error was that the people who testified at the original trial at state court said that the chronic subdural hematoma [brain bleed] was seven to 10 days old.”  A spokesperson for the Illinois Attorney General’s Office declined to comment for this story, instead pointing to a recent court filing in which it said, “this chronic collection, assuming it existed, was benign and could have dated from birth, or possibly could have been caused by trauma. But even if [the infant] suffered some previous non-accidental trauma, it could have been caused by [Del Prete] and was legally irrelevant. The fact that someone may have abused [the infant] two to four weeks before her collapse does not exonerate petitioner.”"

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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:

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