In the rush to protect children, 'experts' use junk science to accuse the innocent

December 13, 2003

First there was Sally Clark, then Trupti Patel, and now Angela Cannings. Three women wrongly accused of serial infanticide – one of the most horrendous crimes imaginable.Each prosecution relied on evidence from Sir Roy Meadow, Britain’s leading cot-death expert who decided that, on the balance of probability, these mothers had murdered their children.Yet, according to a growing body of concerned lawyers, doctors and parents, these are not isolated cases but symptomatic of a legal and medical system so determined to protect children that it fails to protect the innocent. In this culture junk science can be seen as fact, medical opinion is confused with truth and guilt is determined not by hard evidence, but by a checklist of medical or psychological symptoms.Three further diagnoses – shaken baby syndrome, Munchausen Syndrome by proxy and recovered memories – account for hundreds of other wrongful convictions of innocent parents over the last two decades.



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