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Wrongfully Accused of Child Deaths Investigation

Updated on: 3/6/2019

A new investigation reveals that people have spent time in jail after being accused of wrongful death of children, then later being proved innocent.

The investigation looked at 23 U.S. and Canadian cases where prosecutors used evidence that was faulty, gathered by forensic pathologists. This has caused some of the accused killers to spend years in jail before being released.

The report found a lot of similarities between the cases and the incorrect evidence. In several of the child death cases, authorities relied only on autopsy reports that were produced by doctors who did not work with child injury specialists or even review medical records before calling the shots.

Based on the report, it was also seen in other cases that forensic pathologists lost objectivity from working too closely with law enforcement.

But some dismiss concerns over mishandled child death cases as overdone.

“The vast majority of forensic pathologists recognize a child abuse case when they see it, and it’s not because they want to persecute people,” Dr. Mary Case, chief medical examiner for four Missouri counties said.

Autopsy findings are particularly high in infant or child death cases since these forms of crimes often happen in private spaces without any witnesses and leave behind few indications of trauma.
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