Shaken Baby Syndrome: Junk Science?

Usually when we think of "Junk Science", we think of things such as "bite mark evidence", completely unproven beliefs about the way fire spreads, or making statements about hair folicles that sound scientific, but turn out to be anything but. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) has been accepted by the medical community for years. How could that be junk science?


As one doctor said to me, "It's not that difficult to understand it. Not that long ago, the medical community believed that stomach ulcers were caused by stress. Now we understand that they are caused by a virus. Because a group of doctors believe it to be so, doesn't mean it is scientific."

The Michigan Innocence Clinic recently received a $250,000 federal grant to challenge convictions based on Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnosis. Indeed, across the country many Innocence Projects are developing specialties in addressing apparent wrongful convictions of SBS. Today, Oct 14, 2016, the Washington Post published an article entitled Men accused of killing toddlers say Shaken Baby Syndrome should be on trial, not them. The article quotes David Moran of the Michigan Innocence Clinic regarding these cases, as MIC is one of the projects developing this expertise. It is no minor point that the federal government has jumped into the ring providing financial support for contesting convictions based on this diagnosis.

Dr. Waney SquierplunketFor a quick education, watch The Syndrome (2016), a documentary which interviews two of those given awards at the 2016 Innocence Conference, Dr. Waney Squier, recipient of the Innocence Network Champion of Justice Award Winner, and Dr. John Plunkett, recipient of the Innocence Network Lifetime Achievement Award Winner. Be informed and help correct these misconceptions!