Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kathleen Folbigg; Australia; Support for retrial mounts as "top legal academic" Dr. Emma Cunliffe says there was never enough medical evidence to convict her of murdering her babies. Newcastle Herald.

STORY: "Top lawyer argues Folbigg should walk," by Janek Speight, published in the Newcastle Herald on July 14, 2013.

GIST:  Support  for the retrial of Australia’s worst convicted female serial killer is gathering pace with medical and legal specialists calling for her release from jail. Last night’s episode of 60 Minutes aired fresh concerns about the conviction of Singleton’s Kathleen Folbigg for murdering her four children. Folbigg was accused of smothering her babies, aged between 19 days and 19 months, with either her hand or a soft pillow between 1989 and 1999. A 12-person jury found her guilty of three counts of murder and one count of manslaughter after a seven-week trial in the NSW Supreme Court in 2003. Yet Australian academic lawyer Dr Emma Cunliffe claims Folbigg was wrongly convicted. In her book, Murder, Medicine and Motherhood, Dr Cunliffe pointed to the failure of medical experts to determine a cause of death of any of the four children, suggesting there was never enough evidence to convict her of their murders. ‘‘An error has been made,’’ she told 60 Minutes last night. ‘‘There was no positive evidence of homicide in relation to any child. ‘‘She should walk.’’.........Child psychologist Dr Peter Fleming also voiced his concerns to 60 Minutes. He said a lack of physical marks on Sarah, who was the fourth and last child to die, suggested she was not smothered. ‘‘I have very considerable doubt about the medical and scientific evidence given against her,’’ he said. ‘‘I have major reservations.’’


See "Mamamia" story: "But the question everyone is asking today is whether the courts got it wrong; they’re asking whether it’s possible that Kathleen has been wrongly convicted. This question was the focus of Channel 9′s 60 Minutes program last night. During the extended broadcast, reporter Tara Brown spoke to legal and medical experts who believe that there is now enough evidence to prove that Kathleen Folbigg’s children did not die at the hands of their mother; that, as initially decided, it was simply a series of extremely unfortunate events. They believe that an innocent woman may have been put behind bars, when really she should have been the subject of comfort, support and love. After all, she is a mother who has lost her children. Legal academic Emma Cunliffe has been following the case for 10 years. She has written a book called Murder, Medicine & Motherhood and, according to the 60 Minutes report, believes that Folbigg’s case was “tainted by unreliable and outdated medical evidence, which has led to a terrible miscarriage of justice.”"



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