Sunday, June 2, 2013

Jennifer Del Prete: Medill Justice Project discovers decade-old police detective's letter expressing concerns that pathologist who conducted the autopsy questioned whether child was victim of what is called "shaken-baby syndrome" or abusive head trauma; Letter to play a key role in her appeal. Medill Justice Project.

STORY: "Decade-old police detective's letter discovered by Medill Justice Project leads to attorney's motion for new appeal: Defence attorney in shaken-baby syndrome case says prosecutors or police failed to turn over crucial information to prisoner," by Alison Flowers, published by the Medill Justice Project on May 28, 2013.

GIST: "Del Prete was sentenced to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of violently shaking a 3 ½-month-old child at a home day care in Romeoville, Ill., in 2002. The Medill Justice Project, a journalism enterprise at Northwestern University, has been investigating Del Prete’s case for more than a year, publishing its findings in March. Del Prete maintains her innocence. Blegen, Del Prete’s attorney, said the key piece of evidence is a Nov. 10, 2003, letter obtained by The Medill Justice Project through a Freedom of Information Act request; in the letter, Romeoville, Ill., police Det. Kenneth Kroll expressed concerns that the forensic pathologist who conducted the infant’s autopsy questioned whether the child was a victim of what is known as shaken-baby syndrome or abusive head trauma.........In the letter, Kroll wrote that he had heard from a Plainfield, Ill., police evidence tech—or ET—who was present at the autopsy by Jeff Harkey, then a forensic pathologist in the coroner’s office in DuPage County where the infant had died. “The ET advised that Dr. Jeff Harky [sic] did in fact question the diagnosis of SBS [shaken-baby syndrome],” Kroll said in his letter. “I was told that Dr. Harky [sic] specifically looked for fractures in the rib cage (adult grabbing point) and found none.”"

The entire story can be found at:

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