Jeffrey Havard, 34, has been on death row in Parchman Penitentiary since 2002. He was convicted of murdering Chloe Britt, the six-month-old daughter of his girlfriend at the time. Havard claims he was giving the child a bath when, as he was lifting her from the tub, she slipped from his hands and fell, hitting her head on the toilet on the way down. By the time paramedics arrived with her at the hospital, Britt’s eyes were fixed and dilated, and she had turned blue. She died a short time later.
Dr. Steven Hayne, a Mississippi medical examiner in private practice, performed an autopsy on the infant. He claimed to have found the symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a diagnosis that comes with the implication that the last person to be alone with the child was the one who killed her. Because the symptoms can only be produced by violent shaking, the diagnosis also comes with a built-in indictment of the suspect’s state of mind. It’s a diagnosis that does much of the prosecutor’s work for him.
But SBS has come under fire in recent years. A number of experts have begun to question the validity of the diagnosis and how it’s used in court, pointing out, for example, that a number of other factors could cause the symptoms that experts have been telling juries could be caused only by shaking. But even if one were to accept SBS as a sound and legitimate diagnosis, other forensic pathologists say Hayne shouldn’t have found it in this case. – Full post below:
Senior Writer and Investigative Reporter, The Huffington Post
We also encourage you to sign the petition requesting that Jeffrey Havard be granted a new trial:
By: Christina England
Nov 8th, 2012
Ex-Police Sergeant Chris Savage
I have been very honored to work with retired Sergeant Christopher Savage of the Queensland Police Service during the past few months. Mr. Savage contacted me after watching the short film I recently published on VacTruth highlighting cases of false accusations of child abuse after vaccine injuries.  The evidence of sheer corruption he revealed sent shivers down my spine.
His papers confirm that the police are writing off cases of possible vaccine injury as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. They also highlight the fact that due to biased and inadequate training, the police are falsely accusing parents of manslaughter and Shaken Baby Syndrome and parents killing their own children because they have been brainwashed to search for signs of abuse, assault and foul play whenever a child dies.
GAINING A NEW PERSPECTIVE
Christopher William Savage joined the Queensland Police Service in 1989 at the age of 27. His training took place at the Oxley Police Academy and was completed six months later.
He had no particular views on vaccines before joining the police force and said that he cannot recall any real discussions on the topic of vaccinations while growing up. This perspective changed, however, when he received his Hepatitis B vaccine in October 1989 with his colleagues.
Sergeant Savage explained that after receiving the Hep B vaccine as part of the squad, he became totally exhausted. He spent the next two weeks in bed hardly able to stand up. When he asked a mainstream medical practitioner if the vaccine could have caused his symptoms, he was given a categorical no, and told that this suspicion would be impossible. Despite being reassured by the medical practitioner, Savage remains convinced to this day that the vaccine was responsible for his becoming so ill. His experience opened his eyes to a deeper evil still occurring, which I believe will rock the beliefs of many parents.
A BOLD REVELATION
Sergeant Savage has given me a copy of a signed statement, which has been countersigned by JP N. Newbury (Qualified Number 10175) of the Gympie Magistrates Court office, stating his belief that vaccines are the cause of many cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). He believes innocent parents are also being blamed and are being falsely charged with manslaughter when babies die.
The statement identifies clearly and succinctly a variety of cases in which babies appear fit and healthy on the day of their vaccination but deteriorate after they received the vaccine. He has revealed a clear catalog of cover-ups used by the police force and the medical professionals. He has exposed the fact that every case is treated as if it were a case of manslaughter and newly bereaved parents and parents of critically ill children are being interrogated as prime suspects and potential child abusers. Their homes are being ransacked for clues and precious possessions such as sheets, mattresses and medications are being bagged up as forensic evidence. Their homes are being treated as possible crime scenes.
Sergeant Savage’s statement closes with these words:
“I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offense under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act of 1959, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.”
(I have been given permission to include this valuable document as part of my research on VacTruth.) 
The police are supposed to be unbiased and nonjudgmental, examining all the evidence, no matter how small, in order to determine why an individual has died. However, it appears that whenever vaccination is suggested as a possible cause of death, the police are choosing to ignore this evidence in favor of SIDS, child abuse and manslaughter.
Intrigued by the document, I asked Mr. Savage if he would provide me with an interview for VacTruth, which he agreed to do.
FOLLOWING IMPROPER PROCEDURE
To clarify the normal series of events that occurs in cases of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), I asked Sergeant Savage what happens when a baby dies an unexpected death.
Sgt. Savage: When a baby dies suddenly from so-called SIDS, the parents become subjects of an investigation by medical staff and First Response police. If either of those find anything suspicious then detectives become involved. If both parents have a similar version that is credible they will most likely not face any prosecution. However, if there are inconsistencies in their stories, then the police look further into the matter.
Sole parents and de facto parents are the most likely to face prosecution because they don’t have the same stability and some even suspect the other parent of having done something wrong, especially when the police start asking questions about their partner.
Christina England: Do you believe that the police, along with the medical profession, are blaming parents as a cover for vaccine damage?
Sgt. Savage: I believe the police are not realizing what has happened and don’t even look at the evidence pointing towards vaccines causing [infant death] , as their minds are stuck in the SIDS scam diagnosis that is prevailing in everyone’s mind due to annual RED NOSE day nonsense.
Christina England: Could you outline exactly what you believe?
What he answered will shock many parents across the world.
Sgt. Savage: The police officer is a member of the pro-vaccine brainwashed society and joins the Police Service where the SIDS mindset is already held. When he or she is tasked to attend a baby death, not only does the officer believe SIDS is real but they are also trained to look for signs of abuse and assault and manslaughter. So there is brainwashing on SIDS pushing the officer away from looking at vaccines and their training is to find evidence of foul play, which includes side effects of vaccines. The parents are too traumatized to think rationally and when the police start asking them questions about the other parent they become frightened, paranoid and defensive. The body is taken to a doctor for an autopsy to find out why the baby died. So there is another problem.
Doctors receive more pro-vaccine training than the public and so they won’t think of the vaccines as being the cause. The police also don’t want to rock the boat. They want to finalize the file. So in the absence of corroborating forensic evidence the police and doctors will most likely describe the case as SIDS.
BLAMING PARENTS INSTEAD OF VACCINES
Christina England: In your view at what point in the proceedings are parents being falsely accused of manslaughter or Shaken Baby Syndrome?
Sgt. Savage: Parents become subjects of the investigation regardless … in other words, police are looking for evidence of wrongdoing by anyone living in the house where a person dies, and of course, this includes babies. In the case of babies, police are told to seize clothing, medication and bedding for forensic analysis.
The shaken baby accusation may come if a parent recalls to police that they picked up [the dead baby] and shook the baby … or the autopsy finds physical signs such as bruising, broken ribs and the swollen or inflamed cerebral cortex.
The problem I have with the above scenario is that, in my experience, many parents who find their baby unresponsive, limp and lifeless, pick the infant up and give them a gentle shake to try to revive them. Parents may also be wrongly accused of shaking their baby to death if they inadvertently use the word ‘shake’ when they actually mean to say ‘bounce’ or ‘pat.’ 
Christina England: Are you telling me that in the majority of cases when parents admit that they have picked up their unresponsive child and given them a gentle shake in order to revive them, at the time of questioning, this will automatically be logged as abuse?
Sgt. Savage: Exactly right, Christina. The way you described the gentle shaking is exactly what I meant, but the police are pre-programmed to identify Shaken Baby Syndrome, so as soon as they hear one of the parents say these words, the investigating officers misconstrue and begin questioning along the lines of Shaken Baby Syndrome and ask, “How much did you shake the baby?” and “Have you previously shaken the baby?” and “What happened after shaking?” They then ask, “Has your partner ever lost control and smacked the baby?” and “Has he ever shaken the baby in a rage?” The parent goes from primary witness to suspect for a serious crime and [parents] sense this and panic and police may interpret this as guilt. The police then write this on the report to the coroner and to the doctor doing the autopsy.
Often in de facto relationships, the other party may be abusive towards the baby and the mother. In these cases, police go after the father with vengeance because they honestly believe the father has done something to cause the death or injury, which the vaccines caused.
ABUSING THE EVIDENCE
Sergeant Savage explained that there are several signs that can be misinterpreted as evidence against the parents. These are:
• Inconsistent versions of events from parents
• Bruising and broken ribs
• Swollen cerebral cortex
He explained that, in most cases dealt with by the police, the baby will have some bruising. However, when a baby dies, bruising is then considered to be evidence of the parent being abusive.
He added that this interpretation of the evidence could be incorrect, as ambulance staff sometimes gives CPR, which can cause bruising and broken ribs, which he says is then blamed on the parents. Inconsistent versions of events from parents, who are understandably upset at this very difficult time, can also lead to police attacking their credibility. Savage stated that the most common outcome is to take the option of writing the file in conjunction with medical opinion as SIDS without prosecution.
Christina England: Do you feel that too many cases where vaccines could be the cause of death are being written off as either SIDS or abuse, instead of being fully investigated?
Sgt. Savage: Yes. Vaccine damage is rarely ever looked at … pointing the finger of blame at parents is frequently done and the most common action is to simply write off as SIDS. The investigators could and should ask parents about their baby’s health prior to vaccines. It would eventually expose the vaccines for being the root cause of injury and death that it is.
Sergeant Savage also believes with certainty that any evidence of vaccines being a possible cause of sudden infant death is likely to be buried.
Sgt. Savage: The parents rarely make the connection with vaccines because they are so tired due to the impact of vaccines on their baby’s sleep, hence theirs. If they raise concern, the police should put it in the report, but the doctor who does the autopsy will see that and most likely dismiss it. There is pressure on the police not to rock the boat, too. That sort of information may save a parent from prosecution at least. [emphasis added]
Are the police simply unaware that vaccinations can cause injury and death? Or, are they very aware and this is why they will do all they can to cover up this fact? After all, the evidence has been there for years. (See “For Further Research” at the end of this article.)
It seems to me extremely odd that the very paper Sergeant Savage said his colleague had planted into the possession of a prisoner charged with Shaken Baby Syndrome was Shaken Baby Syndrome – The Vaccination Link by Dr. Viera Scheibner  especially when you consider that this prisoner believed that his child had died after he received his vaccinations.
Sergeant Savage gives a very damning account of what really is going on behind the scenes. It is shocking how cases of possible vaccine injury are being covered up, written off as SIDS and blamed on innocent parents in what appears to be a worldwide cover-up to protect the vaccine industry at any cost.
Sergeant Savage makes abundantly clear through his statement and interview that in many of the cases he has been involved in and knows of, the children only became ill after vaccination. As the police are brainwashed to believe that all vaccines are safe, it has become an appalling policy for all parents to be viewed as potential perpetrators of manslaughter.
Sadly, any child can suffer a severe reaction after a vaccination. In some cases, children do die after receiving vaccines. Is it fair for that grieving parent to then be interrogated by the police as a murder suspect?
Imagine how you would feel if this tragedy happened to your baby. As a grieving parent, would you want to be questioned by the police as a matter of routine? Could you imagine how painful the death of a child is and how easy it would be, as a distraught parent, to say the wrong thing? After all, you would be in shock, very scared and deeply saddened.
In reality, many parents have endured the nightmare of being falsely accused of their child’s death. Some of them are behind bars today after being falsely accused and convicted of manslaughter after their child suffered fatal vaccine injuries. To help save parents from additional agony, when they are already facing the most heartbreaking loss imaginable, people like Sergeant Christopher Savage have to decided to speak out and risk everything to break the silence.
I would like to thank Sergeant Christopher Savage who has provided all the information contained in this article. I believe his bravery will help many families faced with false accusations of child abuse and manslaughter after vaccine injuries.
~ In loving memory of Amanda Sadowsky and Cameron Bruce ~
~ In loving memory of Amanda Sadowsky and Cameron Bruce ~
1. England, Christina. False Accusations of Child Abuse After Vaccine Induced Injuries Destroys Families.
2. Sergeant Christopher William Savage: Commonwealth of Australia – STATUTORY DECLARATION – Statutory Declarations Act of 1959.
4. Shaken Baby Syndrome: The Vaccination Link.
FOR FURTHER RESEARCH ON VACCINATION AND SIDS
Scheibner, Dr. Viera. Cot Watch Studies.
Baraff, L.J. et al. Possible Temporal Association Between Diphtheria-Tetanus Toxoid-Pertussis Vaccination and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Pediatric Infectious Disease. 1983 Jan-Feb; 2(1):7-11. PMID: 6835859.
Coulter, Harris L. SIDS and Seizures.
Stewart, Gordon T. The Whooping Cough Vaccination. Here’s Health. March 1980.
For documents please see original posting: http://vactruth.com/2012/11/08/brainwashed-police-ignore-vaccine-injuries/
Abuse of children is a real problem. People who commit the crime deserve the full fury of law. However, it is very important that evidence based science instead of the old SBS dogma be used in distinguishing cases where abuse actually occurs as opposed to trauma occurring for other reasons. In the Li’s case, 5 months after the passing away of their beloved daughter Annie, and still in deep bereavement over the loss of their beloved child, Hangbin and Ying were incarcerated, not knowing why.
Last month (October), which is almost 5 years after their initial incarceration, Hangbin was offered a plea bargain which was really tempting. This poor young man was offered the choice of immediate freedom at the price of his innocence. The mental torture he suffered was inhumane. “To be or not to be, that is the question.” He called family members, supporters and friends for advice. He asked me and my wife: “If I were your son, what would you tell me?” We cried. Oh God, what this man has suffered I would not wish my worst enemy to go through.
Finally, Hangbin made a decision. While he almost ended up accepting the offer, a sudden idea struck him. As a victim of false SBS allegations, he felt that no one else should suffer as he did. From various literatures, he had learned that the number of people who have been wrongly accused of SBS is far more than he imagined. He started to ask himself these questions: Does this (false allegation/conviction) have to go on and on? Why do I have to admit to something I did not do? Do innocent people have to be accused and convicted of something they have not done and do nothing about it? On top of that, he has already lost Annie; he can’t afford to lose Ying and his second daughter Angela (he will be deported when the court releases him if he admits to any charge against him). They are the love of his life.
Baby Annie was born with mutated gene and had spent her first few days in the NICU. In a DNA test done on Annie’s tissue a couple of months back, defective gene relating to OI (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) had been detected. “ It would be important to understand other inherited conditions in Annie’s family that might have created a situation that looked like shaken baby syndrome but was in fact, attributed to something else,” said Dr. Sessions Cole, director of newborn medicine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
If one would just spend some time researching the SBS literature and talk to the wrongly accused in depth, he/she will be taken aback at the absurdity of the triad based SBS assumptions which the prosecutors resorted to in the conviction of many parents/caregivers. You can’t help but ask one question again and again: Given the wide array of solid scientific research that questions the validity of SBS theory, why does the judicial system still choose to turn a deaf ear to evidence based science? Even former supporters of the SBS theory such as the renowned Dr. Norman Guthkelch and Dr. Patrick Barnes, are now advising caution before choosing a SBS diagnosis. Dr. Guthkelch is credited with founding the syndrome in 1971.
How can the criminal justice system and law enforcement officers, hold high the banner of justice on one hand, but on the other, refuse to look at truth? How many ears must one law officer have before he can hear innocent people cry? How many wrongful imprisonments will it take till he knows that too many people have been falsely convicted? This is a very serious question that every concerned citizen should think about. The protection of children is a measure of society’s progress. There are people who abuse children. They should be given the gravest penalty that the law allows. But do we have the right to punish the innocent just because we know that there are heinous child abusers out there so that scarifying the innocent can be justified in the name of protecting children? A humanistic society should not allow that.
We need a rigid diagnostic protocol to be applied to SBS cases to prevent medical professionals from jumping to conclusions as soon as they see the 3 symptoms of shaken baby syndrome. Dr. Guthkelch says it’s time to get all interested parties together to get them to agree on what can be said with scientific certainty about shaken baby syndrome. How much longer do we have to wait until this is accomplished? The sword of Damocles could fall on anyone as long as the triad based diagnosis is allowed to reign supreme.
Hangbin & Ying Li Rescue Committee/Michael Chu
Keith A. Findley
University of Wisconsin Law School
October 10, 2012
This is the text of a talk given by Keith Findley as part of the Integris Law & Medicine Lecture Series at Oklahoma City University School of Law on September 27, 2011, with commentary by Dr. Patrick Barnes, Professor David Moran, and Professor Carrie Sperling. The talks address controversies that have arisen in the past ten or twelve years over the diagnosis Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) (now known also more expansively as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT)) and prosecution of individuals based on the hypothesis that the child was injured or died after an adult caregiver violently shook the child. The talks examine the science-dependent nature of prosecutions (or child removal actions) based on the shaking hypothesis, as well as emerging controversies from new medical research about whether shaking can cause such injuries and death, at least without causing extensive neck and cervical spine injuries; whether the indicators previously attributed almost exclusively to shaking — such as subdural hematomas and retinal hemorrhages — are indeed diagnostic of abuse; whether other causes, both natural and accidental, can mimic abuse and lead medical professionals astray; and whether the onset of clear neurological impairment can reliably be timed to the infliction of injuries so that the medical science can be used to identity the perpetrator (assuming there was one). This talk examines how the legal system is being called upon to re-examine SBS convictions in light of this evolving medical science.
See Source to Download Full Paper
University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform
UN-CONVICTING THE INNOCENT: THE CASE FOR SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME REVIEW PANELS
By: Rachel Burg
On October 15, 2010, Julie Baumer was finally able to breathe as a free woman.1 Seven years earlier, on October 3, 2003, her nephew, Philipp Baumer, was admitted to Children’s Hospital in Detroit where a CT scan showed subdural bleeding and a brain that had been deprived of oxygen, and an ophthalmologist detected retinal bleeding.2 The hospital immediately suspected child abuse and consulted several social workers in the following days.3 Doctor’s notes on the subsequent tests documenting Philipp’s brain and eye injuries often attributed these injuries to Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).4 As Philipp’s primary caretaker, Julie was the suspected abuser. On December 17, 2003, Dr. Cristie Becker wrote to Detective John Rollo of the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department, diagnosing Philipp with “non-accidental trauma involving a shaking episode as well as a striking of the head against a solid, flat surface.”5
*658 In February of 2004, Julie was charged with first-degree child abuse. In September of 2005, at the first of her two trials, a treating neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital6 and a pediatric radiologist testified for the prosecution as expert witnesses.7 In what he described as “not a difficult case,”8 the treating neurosurgeon testified that the “massive brain injury” was not consistent with an accidental injury, but rather resulted from “a much greater force being imparted upon the child.”9 The pediatric radiologist described the brain injury as “best explained as the result of a shaking.”10 Both doctors testified that based on his injuries, Philipp suffered from “non-accidental trauma”11 which most likely occurred within twenty-four hours of the CT and MRI scans.12 This timeline would have put Philipp in the care of the hospitals–not Julie– when he was injured. The defense attorney, however, failed to note this discrepancy.
The defense’s sole medical expert was found not qualified to read the CT scans, rendering her unable to directly contradict the prosecution’s medical experts.13 While the expert, a forensic pathologist,14 pointed out some of Philipp’s other medical conditions and argued that the child had been sick for a long time,15 the defense did not present any medical experts testifying to a specific alternative theory of causation for the injuries.16 The jury was left with two medical experts suggesting child abuse, and no alternative theory from the defense. Julie was convicted of first-degree child abuse on September 29, 2005.17 In sentencing Julie, due to what he perceived as the “high level of brutality” of the crime, the judge *659 exceeded the sentencing guidelines and sentenced her to 10-15 years in prison.18
In 2007, after receiving a letter from a nun who had visited Julie in prison, the case came to the attention of a professor at Ave Maria Law School, who enlisted the help of a private defense attorney.19 The lawyers sent Philipp’s scans to several doctors, a neuroradiologist, a pediatric neuroradiologist, and a forensic pathologist. All of them diagnosed Philipp with venous sinus thrombosis (VST), a form of childhood stroke that is often associated with seizure-like activity, illness and dehydration.20 Citing this evidence, the defense team filed a motion for post-conviction relief based on ineffective assistance of counsel and actual innocence. At the August 2009 evidentiary hearing, the defense presented testimony from these doctors, expressing their opinions that Philipp had suffered from VST and not child abuse or Shaken Baby Syndrome.21 VST, the doctors testified, was consistent with the dehydration and sepsis diagnosed at the E.R. in Mount Clemens, as well as his history of sickliness since birth.22 The judge granted the motion. Julie and her defense team, joined by the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic, began to prepare for a new trial.
At the second trial in September and October of 2010, the two doctors from the first trial testified again for the prosecution, reiterating their arguments that Philipp’s injuries were caused by non-accidental trauma. However, they shifted their timelines for his injury, to a time when he was likely in Julie’s care.23 This time, however, the defense had an alternate explanation for Phillip’s medical findings, which was presented through the testimony of the three original doctors, as well as a pediatric child neurologist, a *660 clinical and forensic pathologist, and a neurosurgeon.24 After a short deliberation, the jury found Julie not guilty of child abuse.
Unfortunately, Julie is not alone in her experience. The truly heartbreaking stories, however, are those that are not told–the innocent people currently in prison, convicted of seriously injuring a child that they loved, based on a medical diagnosis that has become scientifically questionable. Like Julie Baumer, many defendants enter court unprepared to counter the legion of medical experts that they will face, and most are not as lucky as Julie was to find an Innocence Clinic to take on their causes. This Note examines the interaction between a Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) diagnosis and our criminal justice system, and calls for a review process to be put in place. An SBS Review Panel would give those convicted of SBS-related crimes the opportunity to have competent experts review the medical records, and the chance for a fair trial.
When someone is accused of an SBS-related crime, the prosecution typically presents a triad of medical findings–retinal hemorrhages, subdural/subarachnoid hematomas, and cerebral edema–to “prove” that the injury to the baby could only have resulted from shaking. However, medical research is casting doubt on the significance of this triad, and there is currently disagreement within the medical community on what scientific evidence is necessary to establish that SBS caused a particular death or injury, and even whether SBS is a classifiable syndrome at all. This lack of scientific agreement on SBS has led to haphazard and divergent results throughout the country, even in cases with very similar facts. As the medical community continues to shift toward a uniform skepticism of SBS, our legal system will eventually follow suit, leading to more consistent results across courts. However, until that time comes, individuals continue to be convicted of SBS-related crimes25 on the basis of evidence that is scientifically questionable and likely unsound.
This Note proposes that states should develop error-correction bodies to identify past errors that have resulted in wrongful convictions of people accused of shaking a child. These institutions, which I call SBS Review Panels, would be similar to the error-correction bodies and commissions that have recently been established throughout the world to deal with various sorts of wrongful convictions. An SBS-specific commission should be developed because of *661 the high level of scientific expertise that is required to fully understand this diagnosis and the problems associated with using the triad of medical findings as evidence of the defendant’s conduct.
Part I will define SBS and detail the medical and social perceptions of the diagnosis from the 1970′s until the present. In describing in greater depth the recent changes in the medical consensus behind SBS, Part II illustrates why our legal system should not permit convictions based exclusively on disputed medical evidence. Part III analyzes the current state of the law, with several case studies to illustrate the problems with the use of this potentially faulty diagnosis. This Part further details the challenges that face defendants seeking relief from SBS convictions. To address these problems, Part IV proposes the creation of error-correcting bodies to discover errors that have resulted in wrongful convictions or miscarriages of justice for those accused of shaking a child. This Part evaluates examples of post-conviction review boards, and concludes by proposing a Shaken Baby Syndrome Review Panel, and a model statute for its enactment.
For full paper see link
Free Pam Jacobazzi
What happened to Pam Jacobazzi could happen to any babysitter, any parent, or any grandparent. A licensed daycare provider, she was convicted in 1999, of allegedly shaking a 10 month old child to death. Recently, medical science has debunked the theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome that prosecutors used to convict her. New evidence, discovered after she was convicted, reveals that the child had a naturally occurring disease that caused bleeding within the brain. Read why the Illinois Innocence Project is supporting clemency.
CT scans prove chronic bleeding was occurring before child entered daycare
The radiologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin who conducted CT scans of the child’s brain reported there was evidence of both “new and old blood”. On May 12, 1999, this doctor testified as a witness for the defense. He said that the old blood or chronic bleeding began two weeks before the child began having seizures. The significance of this testimony was that the bleeding within the child’s brain, according to the CT scans, was occurring before Aug. 1, 1994, which was the day Pam Jacobazzi began caring for the child. Nevertheless, despite the testimony of this treating doctor she was convicted of first degree murder.
Pediatric records unknown to the jury suggest a naturally occurring bleeding disorder
After she was convicted new evidence revealed that the child had been born with sickle cell trait, was anemic, and had persistent fevers in the weeks before the bleeding was detected. Medical science now recognizes that sickle cell anemia and other naturally occurring diseases will cause the same symptoms of subdural and retinal bleeding, that before would have been mistaken for child abuse.
This evidence was discovered by reading the records of the child’s pediatrician. The jury never heard about this evidence. In fact, the pediatrician testified that this was a healthy child. However, the medical records would indicate otherwise.
The pediatrician would later say when the anemia failed to improve even after prescribing iron supplements (suspecting an iron deficiency) the doctor began to suspect internal bleeding. In his deposition taken after Mrs. Jacobazzi was convicted, this doctor acknowledged that this could mean “that there’s something else going on . . . It could be that the child has a chronic disease . . . could be that there is some blood loss somewhere”. On Aug. 3, 1994 (two days after Pam Jacobazzi began babysitting the child) the pediatrician called the child’s mother. He informed her that a test to determine if the internal bleeding was occurring within the gastrointestinal tract was negative. A few days later, on Aug. 11, 1994, internal bleeding was detected within the child’s brain. Police immediately arrested Pam based on the medical opinion at that time that the symptoms could only be caused by shaken baby syndrome. We now know Pam Jacobazzi is an innocent woman.
Pam was convicted based on a theory that forensic science now rejects
At trial the experts for the prosecution testified that violent shaking of the child caused the bridging veins of the brain to rupture. “There’s really nothing else that could have caused this child’s injuries in the context of the absence of a motor vehicle accident” or “perhaps a fall from a (great) height”. Forensic Pathologist Robert Kirshner testifying for the prosecution.
An authoritative text on forensic pathology published after Pam was convicted, now acknowledges: “When testifying as to the degree of impact, statements such as: “forces equivalent to thirty miles per hour” or “a fall from a three-story building” have been used as an analogy for the jury. These statements are not supported by scientific facts.The term shaken baby syndrome has become subject of much controversy and some investigators are now of the opinion that vigorous shaking of a child cannot cause the injuries once believed to be associated with this mechanism.” (Source: Spitz and Fisher, Medicolegal Investigations of Death, 4th Edition 2006).
Convictions based on junk science according to new study
A pediatric ophthalmologist testified that the presence of perimacular folds and retinal hemorrhages in the child’s eyes could only be one thing: shaken baby syndrome.
However, new scientific evidence contradicts this testimony. Forensic pathologist Patrick Lantz, from Wake Forrest University School of Medicine between 2004 and 2006 conducted a study of the eyes of over 700 cadavers looking for evidence of retinal bleeding. The study found that retinal bleeding was more common in non-abuse cases than in cases that involved documented child abuse. Dr. Lantz is volunteering his services to the Innocence Project to assist in Pam’s defense.
A call to action
I would like you to take a few more seconds to send this message to your email contacts and Facebook friends. The anniversary of her conviction is coming up in May. If you could take a few moments of each day to continue sending out this message we will reach our goal of 10,000 signatures.
Call Governor Quinn: (217)782-0244 or (312)814-2121. Demand that he act on the clemency petition that has been sitting on the Governor’s desk since Rod Blagojevich’s first term as Governor. She has waited long enough to breathe free air.
Read the Chicago Magazine article::
Read the Illinois Times article:
Read the appellate opinion that invited testimony from experts that challenge the testimony that convicted her:
For Source and to sign the Petition please see:
BY LISA THOMPSON, Erie Times-News
An Erie County jury deliberated less than an hour Monday before clearing an Erie man of all charges he shook his girlfriend’s 14-month-old son so hard he inflicted brain damage a year ago.
Scott Drayer, 32, was acquitted of charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and reckless endangerment after the three-day trial.
As the verdict was read in Judge Daniel Brabender’s courtroom, Drayer, 32, put his face in his hands and wept.
Full Story Here:
Keith A. Findley
University of Wisconsin Law School
Patrick David Barnes
Stanford University – School of Medicine
David A. Moran
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor – The University of Michigan Law School
John Radcliffe Hospital
In the past decade, the existence of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) has been called into serious question by biomechanical studies, the medical and legal literature, and the media. As a result of these questions, SBS has been renamed abusive head trauma (AHT). This is, however, primarily a terminological shift: like SBS, AHT refers to the two-part hypothesis that one can reliably diagnose shaking or abuse from three internal findings (subdural hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage and encephalopathy) and that one can identify the perpetrator based on the onset of symptoms. Over the past decade, we have learned that this hypothesis fits poorly with the anatomy and physiology of the infant brain, that there are many natural and accidental causes for these findings, and that the onset of symptoms does not reliably indicate timing. In the last issue of this journal, Dr. Sandeep Narang marshaled the arguments and evidence that he believes support the diagnostic specificity of the medical signs that are used to diagnose SBS/AHT. Dr. Narang does not dispute the alternative diagnoses but nonetheless argues that, in the absence of a proven alternative, the SBS/AHT hypothesis is sufficiently reliable to support criminal convictions. The cited studies do not, however, support this position since they assume the validity of the hypothesis without examining it and classify cases accordingly, often without considering alternative diagnoses. To address this problem, Dr. Narang argues that, in diagnosing SBS/AHT, we should rely on the judgment of child abuse pediatricians and other clinicians who endorse the hypothesis. Reliance on groups that endorse a particular hypothesis is, however, antithetical to evidence-based medicine and Daubert, which require an objective assessment of the scientific evidence. In the past decades, thousands of parents and caretakers have been accused “and many convicted” of abusing children based on a hypothesis that is not scientifically supported. While we must do everything in our power to protect children, we must refrain from invoking abuse as a default diagnosis for medical findings that are complex, poorly understood and have a wide range of causes, some doubtlessly yet unknown. To this end, we are calling for collaboration between the medical and legal communities for the sole purpose of “getting it right.”
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This disturbing story is part of a rising trend of cases.
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