2020 Update: The Medill Justice Project has reorganized and refocused.
Journalism students at the Medill Justice Project in Illinois have taken on shaken baby syndrome. This summer, interns and staff members are building a database of all the infant-head-injury cases they can find, through all the channels they can think of.
The team sent out the statement below, asking for input from affected individuals. Do check out the exoneration registry they provide as an example of what they have in mind—those researchers sound eager for input, as well.
“The Medill Justice Project at Northwestern University is working to create a database of U.S. shaken-baby syndrome/ abusive head trauma court cases. We are a journalism organization that examines criminal-justice issues objectively. Our goal is public service: By creating this database, we aim to analyze trends and publish stories that may illuminate this criminal justice issue. As an example, the University of Michigan and Northwestern University law schools created the National Exoneration Registry, which has raised awareness about wrongful convictions: http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/about.aspx
“The database will include cases in which the defendant is accused of shaking an infant, producing injuries or symptoms associated with, but not limited to, shaken-baby syndrome, abusive head trauma, traumatic brain injury, pediatric traumatic brain injury, and/or shaken-infant syndrome.
“Due to the complex scientific, medical and legal issues surrounding such cases, as well as the statistical task of analyzing the data, we will consult national leaders in these fields as needed.
“If you have information that you are willing to share with us, please contact Alison Flowers at email@example.com or call (847) 467-4945.”
<Fall 2013 Update: The email address in this press release seems to be obsolete. The Medill Justice Project web site offers this Contact page: http://www.medilljusticeproject.org/contact/.>