Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) – Bad Science and the Race for Massachusetts Governor

In an op-ed piece that will appear in tomorrow’s (10/19) print edition of the Boston Globe, Lee Scheier takes former prosecutor Martha Coakley to task for her “deft misuse of science” in the SBS conviction of Louise Woodward, a British nanny who was working for the Eappen family when their 8-month-old son Matthew died in 1997.

Coakley is currently running for governor of Massachusetts, and recently set up a photo op with Deborah Eappen, Matthew’s mother, trying to defend her record on “protecting children.”

This quote from the article:  “Coakley’s odd invocation of this case demands that we look at the facts. What cannot be lost in all of this political maneuvering is the truth about the Woodward case and all the thousands of shaken-baby cases before and since Woodward. The truth is that Martha Coakley’s deft misuse of science actually came very close to sending an innocent caretaker to prison for life.” (emphasis mine)

See the Boston Globe op-ed here.

Thanks to Dr. John Plunkett for passing this along.

3 responses to “Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) – Bad Science and the Race for Massachusetts Governor

  1. The Family of Brian Peixoto

    Phil and Dr. Plunkett – Thank you for putting the spotlight on the wrongful conviction epidemic here in MA.

    What point is Martha Coakley trying to make? Did she not learn a lesson from the mistakes of her experts, Dr. Eli Newberger and most recently Dr. Alice Newton, both of whom have been discredited in high profile cases?

    Although we are focused on our own case, we will be doing our part to actively pursue support of H. bill 1638 at the start of the next session in January to establish a conviction review unit here in MA.

    The number of jurisdictions with post-conviction review units in this country is growing — at a snails pace. The results, however, within each unit are substantial. Brooklyn is ground central for wrongful conviction claims. They are leading by example and MA should take notice and follow suit. This is tragically overdue.

  2. Mr. Locke, Outstanding article. This says it all, “What cannot be lost in all of this political maneuvering is the truth about the Woodward case and all the thousands of shaken-baby cases before and since Woodward.”

    For those considering Martha Coakley for governor, they should watch the movie, “CONVICTION’. the Betty Ann Waters story fighting the wrongful conviction of her brother. Coakley would NEVER get out vote!

  3. correction: “Martha Coakley would never get our votes!”

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