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New AMA Tomorrow, April 14th: The Issues Behind Prosecutors Using Shaken Baby Syndrome

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posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 09:59 AM
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In 2005, an Illinois judge convicted Jennifer Del Prete of first degree murder and sentenced her to a prison term of twenty years. Del Prete, a mother of two who’d been working at a daycare facility, was found guilty of shaking a baby in her care to death.

But in 2014, a judge threw out her conviction nearly 10 years into her sentence and wrote that the shaken baby syndrome diagnosis was “highly suspect” and “more an article of faith than a proposition of science.”

Del Prete’s decision was one of several such rulings around the country that have overturned convictions and reflect growing skepticism by courts and prosecutors about the shaken baby syndrome diagnosis.

Read more on Disinfo.com.


Tomorrow at noon (eastern time), Meryl Goldsmith and national award-winning investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith, creators of The Syndrome Film will be on ATS to answer your questions for approximately two hours, with another follow-up on Friday the 15th at noon.

The explosive documentary The Syndrome follows the crusade of a group of doctors, scientists, and legal scholars who have uncovered that “Shaken Baby Syndrome,” a child abuse theory used in hundreds of U.S. prosecutions each year, is not scientifically valid. In fact, they say, it doesn’t exist. Filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith and national award-winning investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith document the unimaginable nightmare for those accused and focus on the men and women dedicating their lives to defending the prosecuted and freeing the convicted. How did the myth of “SBS” begin and who are the shocking people behind it who have built careers and profited from the theory? Both are unflinchingly identified. Shaken baby proponents want to silence their critics even as countless lives are ruined.


edit on 13-4-2016 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-4-2016 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-4-2016 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:01 AM
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[quote of entire opening post removed]

Almost sounds like climate change...
edit on 13-4-2016 by SkepticOverlord because: quote of entire opening post removed



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:03 AM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Wow sounds like another good one. Thank you kind sir!



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:08 AM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

I wasn't aware "shaken baby syndrome" was a thing, and can see how there could be skepticism behind it. Interesting subject and excited to hear about a new AMA (still don't know what it stands for - something with "Ask" in it?)
edit on 13-4-2016 by FamCore because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:11 AM
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It is well known that sudden movement and lack of support to a baby's head can cause brain damage or even death, shaking would be violent and could definitely cause damage to the baby.

Not exactly sure why this is questioned.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:12 AM
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originally posted by: FamCore
(still don't know what it stands for - something with "Ask" in it?)


"Ask me anything".

Just be aware, that's not the same as, "I'll answer everything".




posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:12 AM
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a reply to: SkepticOverlord

It's a real thing.

The diagnosis is typically made during post-mortem when small retinal hemorrhages are found in retinal blood vessels, similar to strangulation.

Not many things can cause that otherwise, especially in very young children.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: yeahright

LOL, nice point!



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:14 AM
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Sorry but after the absolute shambles and non event of Tom Delonges AMA I definately will not be reading or participating in an AMA for quite a while. Also as just pointed out, Shaken Baby Syndrome, if a baby is shook hard enough by someone it will die, no questions, so I don`t really see the point of it.


edit on 13-4-2016 by fenian8 because: To take out the the



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:15 AM
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It'll be interesting how they interpret Coup-Contrecoup injuries in related cases.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:15 AM
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Very interesting. Although I am sure that you can still infact shake a baby to death relativity easily. I am curious to find out what other condition she believes is responsible for the death of the child. However after watching the video I can kind of see the direction in which this is going. Didn't expect the satanist card to be pulled.

a reply to: SkepticOverlord



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:17 AM
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I'm curious as to how they say it doesn't exist.

I mean sure it may not be a 'syndrome' but if you SHAKE a baby, hard enough, eventually it will die.

Or are children made of elastics these days? I'm going to have to read about this some more.

~Tenth



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:25 AM
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A close friends child has severe traumatic brain injury from being shaken. I can assure you it is real.

She is 6 and will never even be able to hold her head up. Her eyes just roll around un focused. It is the saddest thing I have ever seen.

But satanic ritual abuse isn't real thus shaken baby syndrome isn't real?

Got it, I'm out of this mess.
edit on 4 13 2016 by stosh64 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: Mianeye


It is well known that sudden movement and lack of support to a baby's head can cause brain damage or even death, shaking would be violent and could definitely cause damage to the baby.

Not exactly sure why this is questioned.


Several reasons, actually --

1. It is, by definition, only theory... no one has or ever will shake 100 babies violently to record and measure the results.

2. Biomechanical experts have done tests on dummies which indicate that humans do not have the strength to shake a baby hard enough to create some of the problems attributed to shaken baby syndrome.

3. Other conditions can and do cause the same so-called "triad" of symptoms which are now attributed to Shaken Baby Syndrome, from viruses and seizures to simple falls.

4. Parents and other caretakers are being charged, convicted and incarcerated for a crime that has not and cannot be proven based on medical theory, and therefore subject to reasonable doubt.

Even the doctor who first suggested that SBS might be a thing has retracted his theory and now speaks against SBS.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:37 AM
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It is reckless to say that Shaken Baby Syndrome doesn't exist. Infants should never be shaken roughly and it can absolutely kill them. The implication that this isn't true could have tragic consequences.

The headline should be more thoughtfully constructed, even if it isn't as attention grabbing: Shaken Baby Syndrome is frequently misapplied/misued/misunderstood, particularly in the legal system.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:39 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Yes - its difficult to explain how a baby can be shaken hard enough to cause brain damage but the same baby have not neck damage.

In addition to the satanic child abuse hysteria, and prior to it, parents were jailed for murder when their baby died of Sudden Baby Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Tired of Control Freaks



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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Thank you ATS for bringing this.

So much controversy surrounding the cause of death as being 'SBS'

Two instances, locally, in recent years brought this to light in the area that I live.

There were two very different outcomes.

Mr. Davenport was acquitted on 2015 of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and lesser offenses in the death of his daughter which had occurred in 2010.
The State had support of the chief pediatric physician at Erlanger in Chattanooga as well as a former state medical examiner who both stated:

In her testimony, Church said that in studying scans of the baby’s brain, she found injuries consistent with abusive head trauma, formerly known as “shaken baby syndrome.” Eutiner said that she found evidence of both old and new bleeding in the baby’s brain, and she sought a second opinion.

THAT second opinion wound up working for the defense:

That opinion came from Dr. Karen Chancellor, a renowned neuropathologist and medical examiner in Shelby County, whose own findings could not rule the cause of the baby’s death as homicide. Chancellor served as an expert witness for the defense and testified that natural medical issues could have resulted in the triad of symptoms commonly used to diagnose abusive head trauma in infants.

This is quite engrossing to me:

A recent report by the Washington Post has found that since 2000, more than 100 “shaken baby” court cases across the country whose evidence relied heavily on the triad symptoms have been reversed or dismissed.

Herald-Citizen

The second case involving Mr. Hastings didn't fare as well for the accused however he was not convicted of first degree murder.
He admitted to shaking his daughter, once, because her crying had annoyed him. She became unresponsive a short time later.
I believe the state offered him a reduced plea of 'aggravated assault resulting in death' knowing that the SBS cause of death for a first degree murder conviction would either not hold up over time or not bring a guilty verdict.
Myinforms



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:40 AM
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a reply to: tothetenthpower

It's not that it doesn't exist, it's that dozens, or even hundreds of people have been put in jail for it, when there are many other things that cause symptoms that appear to be from shaking the baby violently. There's a woman serving a 10 year sentence, that when they looked at brain scans later, the symptoms appeared to be from blood clots. Another father was put on trial for shaking the baby, but when they looked deeper, it appeared the child suffered an injury before he was left alone with the father. It's become the go to diagnosis, and resulted in ruining lives, but when looked at later, a lot of cases fall apart.

There's nobody saying that shaking a baby is safe, they're saying that it needs to stop being the go to diagnosis by doctors, and they need to look closer.
edit on 4/13/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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a reply to: TiredofControlFreaks

This quote is from Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org...



In 2012, A. Norman Guthkelch, the neurosurgeon often credited with "discovering" the diagnosis of SBS,[54] published an article "after 40 years of consideration," which is harshly critical of shaken baby prosecutions based solely on the triad of injuries.[55] Again, in 2012, Dr. Guthkelch stated in an interview, "I think we need to go back to the drawing board and make a more thorough assessment of these fatal cases, and I am going to bet . . . that we are going to find in every - or at least the large majority of cases, the child had another severe illness of some sort which was missed until too late."[56] Furthermore, in 2015, Dr. Guthkelch went so far as to say, "I was against defining this thing as a syndrome in the first instance. To go on and say every time you see it, it's a crime...It became an easy way to go into jail."[57]


So at least the OP is correct is stating that the Dr who discovered SBS, has reversed his opinion.

Tired of Control Freaks



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 10:45 AM
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Chancellor served as an expert witness for the defense and testified that natural medical issues could have resulted in the triad of symptoms commonly used to diagnose abusive head trauma in infants. That triad of symptoms includes subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain; retinal hemorrhaging, or bleeding behind the eyes; and cerebral edema, or brain swelling. Dennis argued that an unnaturally growing skull following a difficult birth and 25 minutes deprived of oxygen could have resulted in those symptoms in this incident. In recent years, in fact, more physicians are claiming that the triad of symptoms alone is not enough evidence to prove abusive head trauma.


Herald Citizen



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