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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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Flawed Convictions: "Shaken Baby Syndrome" and the Inertia of Injustice


ISBN13: 9780199913633
Published: June 2014
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Hardback
Price: £27.49
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780190233617



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The emergence of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" presents an object lesson in the dangers that lie at the intersection of science and criminal law. Understandings of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" have evolved in the context of scientific knowledge. It is now known that the diagnostic triad does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an infant was abused, or that the last person with the baby was responsible for the baby's condition. Nevertheless, our legal system has failed to absorb this new consensus. As a result, innocent parents and caregivers remain incarcerated. More perplexingly, triad-based prosecutions continue even to this day.

Flawed Convictions: "Shaken Baby Syndrome" and the Inertia of Injustice is the first book to survey the scientific, cultural, and legal history of "Shaken Baby Syndrome" from inception to formal dissolution. In this book, Deborah Tuerkheimer exposes extraordinary failings in the criminal justice system's treatment of what is, in essence, a medical diagnosis of murder. Flawed Convictions presents a new perspective on the need for the law to better respond to the scientific contingency. By analyzing the legal response to "Shaken Baby Syndrome" and the existing inadequacies of "science dependent prosecution," Professor Tuerkheimer proposes a path forward for criminal justice, while suggesting a restructuring of the law in order to deal with the uncertainty of scientific knowledge.

Subjects:
Other Jurisdictions , USA
Contents:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER ONE: A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS OF CRIME
THE PROSECUTION PARADIGM
THE LURE OF BLAME
CHAPTER TWO: COMPLICATIONS
SCRUTINY
THE NEW SBS
DOUBTFUL CONVICTIONS
CHAPTER THREE: THE TRIAD ENDURES
TODAY'S SBS
CHILD ABUSE SPECIALIZATION
PROSECUTORIAL CERTAINTY
STAYING POWER
CHAPTER FOUR: TRIALS
DECIDING GUILT
CASE ON TRIAL
CHAPTER FIVE: MISSED DIAGNOSIS
DIAGNOSTIC ERROR
A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE ON DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS
ANATOMY OF A MISSED DIAGNOSIS
CHAPTER SIX: CONFESSIONS
NON-CONFESSION CONFESSIONS
UNRELIABLE CONFESSIONS
INSIDE THE INTERROGATION ROOM
CHAPTER SEVEN: FLUKY JUSTICE
ACQUITTALS
DISMISSALS
NO-ARREST CASES
CHAPTER EIGHT: GUILTY PLEAS
A SYSTEM IN FLUX
WHEN INNOCENTS PLEAD GUILTY
THE MEANING OF LOPSIDED PLEAS
CHAPTER NINE: THE LIMITS OF JUDICIAL REVIEW
SUFFICIENCY CHALLENGES
COLLATERAL ATTACK
CHAPTER TEN: REFORM
IMPROVING MEDICAL OUTCOMES
UPSTREAM INNOCENCE PROTECTION
DOWNSTREAM INNOCENCE PROTECTION
INDEX