Are There Geographic “Hotspots” for Shaking Babies? Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The Medill Justice Project, in its now year-long effort to build a database of SBS cases, has published a portion of that data relating to the geographic occurrence of SBS.  The report identifies several SBS geographic “hotspots.”

Medill Map

What could cause this?  As Innocence Project co-founder Barry Scheck has jokingly suggested, maybe it’s “in the water.”  But this data does NOT support a theory that certain localities have higher percentages of more violent people who are more likely to shake their babies.  It DOES, however, support a theory that certain localities have higher concentrations of aggressive and dogmatic prosecutors and child abuse pediatricians* who ARE more likely to (wrongfully) accuse and prosecute someone for shaking their baby.  And given this, it raises serious questions with respect to the concept of “equal justice.”  What I mean by this is – if your baby experiences a short fall, and you take it to the hospital, and the baby presents with any or all of the triad symptoms, you are much more likely to go to prison if you live in Summit County, Ohio than if you live in Kane County, Illinois – even though you did NOT shake your baby.

You can read the Medill report here.

Sue Luttner has posted an article looking at this geography lesson on her blog OnSBS.  She has done a little more research on how rate of occurrence relates to geography.  You can read it here.

* (More about child abuse pediatricians in a future post.)

3 responses to “Are There Geographic “Hotspots” for Shaking Babies? Shaken Baby Syndrome.

  1. Pingback: Shaken Baby Syndrome ……. Progress for True Science? | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  2. Pingback: Are There Geographic “Hotspots” for Shaking Babies? Shaken Baby Syndrome. | Brian Altonen, MPH, MS

  3. Pingback: Are There Geographic “Hotspots” for Shaking Babies? Shaken Baby Syndrome. | Brian Altonen, MPH, MS

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