Aisling Brady McCarthy. Image from video at WCVB.

Washington Post


In the Boston Globe, columnist Yvonne Abraham writes about how prosecutors in the Middlesex County, Mass., district attorney’s office withheld exculpatory evidence in the Shaken Baby Syndrome case against Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy.

Let’s also not forget that it was Middlesex County that put the now much disputed Shaken Baby Syndrome on the map in the 1997 prosecution of Louise Woodward, a British au pair accused of killing 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. The state’s expert witness in that case has since said that he would not give today the testimony that he gave then, explaining that we now know that a number of medical conditions can produce the symptoms that experts once claimed could only have come from shaking. It’s just another example of the problems with asking judges to be the gatekeepers of what science does and doesn’t get into the courtroom. Dozens, perhaps hundreds, of people were convicted based on expert testimony that we now know was at best grossly overstated, and at worst was simply false.

But these prosecutors didn’t just rely on bad science; they actively suppressed evidence that not only should have informed that their theories about these cases were flawed, but was ultimately the evidence that led to the accused getting freed. A just system would sanction them. If they aren’t punished, there’s little disincentive to do it again, or for other prosecutors who might be tempted to shortchange a suspect’s rights.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

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Same Doctor Behind Two Wrongly Convicted Shaken Baby Cases in Massachusetts