The innocent verdict in Yolo County last month has me reflecting on a few of the people I know who are in prison on the basis of medical opinion that (1) short pediatric falls are seldom if ever fatal and (2) the symptoms of a serious infant head injury will be immediately obvious.
Because the doctors are so sure, police and social services move ahead with confidence, and juries tend to convict. Tragically and exasperatingly, the legal outcomes then seem to support the common knowledge, which remains a matter of opinion, not proven fact.
Rico Green in Oklahoma, for example, is serving a life sentence following the 2010 death of his girl friend’s toddler, 13-month-old Gericho. “Anybody that knows Rico knows that’s not him,” says Antoine Hubbard, a family friend who has pulled together the case records, hoping to file an appeal. “Rico’s a gentle guy. He’d never do something like that.”
Gericho’s mother had just started a new job and Rico was watching Gericho, as he often did. He called 911 mid-day, with a report that the boy was unconscious after falling down a few steps—but at the hospital, doctors said a short fall couldn’t account for the injuries.
During extensive police interviews, Rico reported an incident earlier that morning when he had “snatched up” Gericho and scolded him, when the boy had grabbed the toilet plunger after his bath and pretended he was going to bite it, a game he’d learned was provocative. In the videotaped portion of the interrogation, the final half hour, the detectives do most of the talking, insisting that Rico, enraged, shook the boy at that time.
Rico shows a remarkably even temper on camera, seemingly more puzzled than angry as the detectives refuse to accept the story he repeats again and again: What he feels bad about is yelling at Gericho and making him cry. “I know he’s a one-year-old,” Rico explains, “He probably doesn’t understand.” The detectives keep at it, though, until Rico finally seems to accept their theory that he was so angry during the plunger incident he didn’t realize how hard he had shaken the boy when he grabbed him. What sounded like a confession to them looked to me like acquiescence, and not the behavior of a man prone to violent outbursts.
Rico’s trial lasted three days and featured 13 prosecution witnesses. The public defender called no witnesses on his behalf, and the jury convicted Rico of murder in the first degree. Antoine Hubbard is now looking for pro bono legal help.
In Idaho, mature father Jeff Baker is serving a life sentence for the death of his daughter Gracelynn, not quite three months old the afternoon in 2010 when her father found her struggling to breathe shortly after he’d fed her. The babysitter who had been caring for the girl earlier in the day later told police she had accidentally dropped the baby into a sink while bathing her, but Baker was convicted of murder, in what doctors testified was both a shaking and a slamming assault.
Pediatric neuroradiologist Dr. Patrick Barnes, called in by the defense, noted that Gracelynn’s breathing tube was misplaced in two of the scans he reviewed. Baker, who has written his own appeal from prison, sent me excerpts from the medical records showing the catastrophic drop in his daughter’s blood-oxygen levels that night, and the “reintubation” procedure the following morning. The state has appointed an attorney to represent Baker at the upcoming hearing on his appeal.
Tiffani Calise was only 19 years old the night she called 911 for help with a toddler who she said had slipped and fallen in the bathtub. She was arrested two weeks later, in August of 2010, and she hasn’t been out of custody since. She is now missing her own daughter’s childhood while serving a sentence of 15 years to life for the presumed murder of her friend’s child. Her first appeal was turned down, but supporters are working on another.
Last year’s successful appeal on behalf of Leo Ackley turned to disappointment this spring, when the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed that decision, calling it “clear error.”
At issue was whether trial counsel Kenneth Marks provided ineffective assistance in 2012 by failing to look for a different expert witness after the first pathologist he approached, Dr. Brian Hunter, told him he believed 3-year-old Baylee’s injuries were caused by abuse, not the fall from a bed that Ackley had reported. In hearings last summer, Hunter testified that he told Marks the issue was controversial, and he suggested other pathologists who believed a short fall could be fatal. He did not charge for the initial consultation.
Marks concedes that he did not contact either of the experts Hunter had suggested, but chose to spend the $1,500 he’d been granted to hire Hunter, not as an expert witness but as a trial consultant, preparing him to cross examine the state’s pathologist. All parties seem to agree that Marks successfully forced Dr. Joyce deJong to admit on the stand that doctors did not know what level of force was necessary to cause the brain injury that killed Baylee. Still, Ackley was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Appeal attorney Andrew Rodenhouse argued that because the case hinged on expert medical opinion, a reasonable defense required a physician on the stand to support Ackley’s claim of innocence. Marks should have contacted one of the suggested experts, Rodenhouse said, petitioning the court for more funds if necessary, or he could have at least subpoenaed the little girl’s pediatrician, who had noted at a check-up that Baylee was doing better with the mother’s new boyfriend in her life. In the fall of 2013, Chief Circuit Judge James C. Kingsley agreed and set aside Ackley’s conviction.
In an opinion released in April, though, a new panel of judges concluded:
“[Marks’] decision not to consult a second expert constituted trial strategy. Defense counsel is not required to continue seeking experts until he finds one who will offer favorable testimony.”
Rodenhouse says he is entirely committed to both Ackley’s case and the larger fight against misguided accusations of infant shaking. He points to the re-opening of the Adrian Thomas conviction in New York and last week’s remarkable reversal by a Minnesota trial judge of a jury decision and declares, “There is a momentum. We’ve got to keep it going.”
The Innocence Project of Iowa, meanwhile, has confirmed that it’s examining the case of Sean O’Geary, in prison since 1998 in the death of his girl friend’s 2-year-old daughter Mercedes.
The girl’s grandmother had dropped her off on Friday afternoon with a report that she’d had the flu for a couple of days. Both Sean and his girl friend said Mercedes fell onto the coffee table the next day, while jumping on the couch, and both of them reported hearing a loud thump later that night, after everyone was in bed. It was Sean who went to check on her, though, and so it was Sean who was accused of shaking and slamming her to death. He said he found her climbing back into her crib, and she seemed fine at the time, but on Sunday evening she was rushed to the hospital with convulsions.
Michael Giovo Jr.
Without realizing it, Michael Giovo Jr. offered investigators one of the leading stories that child abuse professionals are trained to doubt: A fall from a couch.
Michael said he had stayed up watching television on Thanksgiving night in 2008, after his girl friend had gone to bed. When he heard 4-month-old Skyler crying, he picked him up from his crib and settled him on the couch while heating a bottle. Michael did not witness the fall, he said, but heard a cry and returned to find Skyler on the floor. The boy seemed to recover and spent the night in bed with him, Michael reported, but he and his girl friend rushed the boy to the hospital the next day, when he started twitching. Giovo is now serving life in prison.
Reporter Jonathan Able at the Tampa Bay Times said that Michael had no idea during hours of police questioning that he was accused of assaulting his son:
He said he went along with the interview voluntarily because police said he was not a suspect. “If I knew they were going to make me a suspect I would have asked for a lawyer right then.”
The 2010 conference sponsored by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome featured a mock trial in which a babysitter reported an unwitnessed fall from a bed, a distance of 36 inches, possibly with an impact against a wooden stool. The imaginary infant had both new and old fractures, as well as acute subdural hematoma, retinal hemorrhages, and brain swelling. On the mock stand, the prosecution doctors all agreed that a short fall would not account for the injuries, and that the child had been violently assaulted after she was dropped off at the babysitter’s, the last point at which she was observed to be alert, eating, and playing.
Hundreds of doctors attended that conference and returned to their hospitals with a clear message: Short falls don’t kill. The problem is that it’s a question of faith, not a question of scientific fact. Despite the common knowledge, biomechanical research has shown that short falls can produce large forces. In a report submitted on behalf of death-row inmate Jeffrey Havard in the fall of 2013, for example, biomechanical engineer Prof. Chris Van Ee wrote, “it is clear that low level falls of even 2-3 feet can result in injurious level head impacts resulting in skull fracture and intracranial hemorrhage.”
I wish the doctors who rely so readily on the common knowledge, and the police and social workers who leap into action at the word of the doctors, would slow down and listen to the defendants more carefully. I think there is still a lot to learn.
If you are not familiar with the debate surrounding shaken baby syndrome, please see the home page of this blog.
For more stories of caregivers and parents convicted in short-fall cases, please see http://www.marshamills.org/thestory.aspx, http://brianpeixoto.com/,http://www.freeamandabrumfield.com/, and http://www.theamandatruthproject.com/heartofthematter.htm, and these are only the ones with web sites.
copyright 2014, Sue Luttner
28 responses to “Short Falls, Long Sentences”
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Reading the brief summary of these cases tore me to pieces. The TRUTH that these INNOCENT people are imprisoned because of an unforeseen ACCIDENT is just cruel, immoral, and unjust. My prayers and deepest condolences goes out to each of the families whom have lost their child AND their relative. I was given the print out of this site from Mr.Antoine Hubbard Sr. which made me look more deeply into the summary of these cases and the comments of the friends and family members. The justice system are failing us by the case. The only thing that we can do is bring these cases to light (like we are now) and continue to SHARE this with others and to ENCOURAGE others to comment and to share with others. Fact of the matter, the only way we can save our families and friends from being suppressed by the judicial system is to CONTINUE TO USE THE VOICE THAT WE STILL HAVE because these innocent people have had their voices stripped from them.
Moreover, I do not know Rico Green personally; only, when reading the summary of his case I automatically KNEW that what happened in that interrogation room was UNJUST. Thus, before even giving him a chance to simply STATE what had happened, the interrogators ALREADY had a plan to pin him with murder. As a result, the lost of life of both the young child and the young man. It saddens me to know that our judicial system is not really out to serve and protect us. In many cases, this fact has been proven. Two GREAT examples: the murder of young Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman and the murder of young Caylee Anthony by HER OWN MOTHER, Casey Anthony. It was CLEAR in BOTH trials that these people purposely MURDERED these defenseless victims and were acquitted. Why must two INNOCENT VICTIMS lose their lives in relation to the “SBS” cases? How many more of our loved ones must lose their life until this matter of an unjust judicial system and cases come to an end? I am completely baffled but sadly not surprised at the mockery the judicial system has made out of the beauty of “EQUALITY and JUSTICE”. Thank you, Ms. Sue Luttner, Mr. Antoine Hubbard Sr. for sharing this with me. To all of the family members and friends, keep your head up and keep the faith. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is almighty, omnipotent, and able to turn everything around for the good. You are ALL in my prayers, brethren.
Although,RICO GREEN, Constitutional rights seem to have adversely lost there true meaning, when good is seen as evil, and evil is seen as good. The evidence shifts to the employees, whom proceed to violate the oath sworn to protect and serve. Articulately, to a discriminatory reason of persuasion throughout the process, thus the inference has set forth undermined actions and of “practice” elements and subject reasons for review guarded. To evade!! based on Inconsistencies between defendants testimonies in different depositions was legally sufficient? Despite defendants contention, that His SUBJECT Answers, Governing Contradictory Statements “BABY SHAKE SYDROME” proceedings before ancillary to court or grand jury of united states, and variance in such TESTIMONY that Extends beyond mere Vagueness, Uncertainty or Equivocality; EVENTHOUGH two declarations may differ from one another!!!! Standard under statue is met in context, they are so different, that if one is true, there no way that other can be true 18 U,S.C 1623( c ), C.A.5 (tex)1989 afflicted clear error, to cover up audit to discover the knowing, Intercepted, Assignment Eradicating, deliberate false statements of baby syndrome would commit a lewd arrest!!!! CONCEAL AND SUPPRESS ruling in favor of ( RICO GREEN )procedures OF Deterrence’s FROM the facts , where truth would prevail in showing fraudulent CONDUCTED RETALIATION!!!! Set forth, of as plaintiff engaged in PROTECTED RIGHTS by Title VII, and that exercise of HIS civil rights was known!!!!! to defendant, that, thereafter, defendant took employment actions ADVERSE to plaintiff, and there was casual connection between protected activity and Adverse Employment Action that the decision breached, by preponderance, in view of Undisputed evidence challenged NOTABLE DEBATE whereas THEN MALICIOUSLY PROSECUTED!!! which remain unattended, Prejudicially fabricated criminal involvement, and guilt of PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE!!!! Invented to strike Essential Unjust Enrichment and Safety Precautions.
This comment is in regards to Rico Dion Green in Tulsa Oklahoma Shaking Baby Syndrome is not reliable Science. After watching the Video Interrogation of Mr. Rico Green being pressured by the Tulsa Detectives to change his statement that his girlfriend baby suffered two different falls the morning he was injured. Once off the bed while playing and the second fall down the apartment stairs which was fatal. The responsible people for this precious childs death are the interrogating detectives and the St. Francis Childrens Hospital. Why? Very simple, had the doctors looked into this baby’s medical history records deeper they would have saw this poor child was taking breathing treatment and also had a history of Head trauma which easily explain the bleeding on the brain. The Tulsa Detectives did not care for the truth that the child suffered an accidental fall they spent hours intimidating Mr. Green lying to him stating that in order for the doctors to help the baby Mr. Green must tell them something other than a fall. This is the exact tactic that was used on Mr. Adrian Tomas Scenes Of A Crime which my family and I watched and saw duplicate of Mr. Green False Confession when will these Doctors and Law Enforcement Agencies be held accountable for violating innocent Parents, Family Members, Daycare providers etc; The citizens of Tulsa need to get behind Rico Green and demand justice, why isn’t Oklahoma Innocence Project involved in this Innocent young man who lost his life to a corrupt judicial system. This must stop and your Oklahoma elected officials should also take the blame!
In the case of Mr. Rico Green: I am Mr. Lee and I attended the whole trial of Mr. Green in the case of Gericho Griffin. I still can’t believe that a man’s life has been taken from him due to an unfortunate accident. I paid very close attention to the ER doctor and the homicide detectives through all the of their statements concerning baby Gericho, and this is why I can’t let it go. The Medical Examiner stated when he did the autopsy he did not see any bruising under the baby’s arm pit or ribs that would be consistent with shaking a baby to death. As a biracial child he was very light skinned, so bruising would stick out like a sore thumb.
In Mr. Green’s deposition he stated that the baby fell down the steps, which would be consistent with the injuries that Gericho had. I wish that there was some one out there looking back at this case to help this man regain his life.
If there are NO signs of bruising why is Mr. Green losing his….Life.
My name is Judy Bowens Green I am Rico Greens mother, Rico comes from a God fearing loving and caring background. Rico met Gabby and baby G.G. and he fell in love with them both, Rico wanted the best life for the both of them. Rico gave all the love in his heart, to the both of them. Baby G.G. did not get harmed at Rico’s hands. I accepted both Gabby and baby G.G. as my family and I love Baby G.G. as my grand baby. In my heart I pray that justice will prevail and closure for Gabby and her family. During my son Rico’s trial which I attended my family and supporters could not believe what we witness, A TRIAL WITH NO DEFENSE! The defense attorney did not call any witness nor did the defense provide any Medical Evidence to Refute the prosecutions theory that the fall down the stairs could not have caused baby G.G. death. During the trial myself and other family members emotions (crying) got the best of us and the prosecutor told the court room officer if we did not Shut Up we would have to leave the court.
It was obvious that the Judicial System did not have any interest in seeking the truth nor did they (court) show any respect for Baby G.G. nor the family of baby G.G. A precious 13 month old child’s life has been lost to an unfortunate accident. Since when does an accident constitute 1st Degree Murder Charge and a Jury impose a life sentence as punishment? When does loving and caring for your child cause you to lose your life and sent to prison? I watched my son Rico’s interrogation video and audio tape and could not believe what goes on during a police interrogation, Rico repeatedly explained that he never shook baby G.G. and that he had fallen down the stairs. My son looked terrified, afraid and in disbelief that he was being forced by these Tulsa Detectives to give a false confession that he shook baby G.G. because he put a toilet plunger in his mouth which was not true, during the tape recording interview you hear the Tulsa detectives state that they are not going to stop until they get a confession out of Rico. My son was offered a Plea-Bargain which he refused, Rico said mama, I never harmed Baby G.G. I am going to Trial to prove my innocence. I am not Guilty. Rico trusted the Judicial System and like so many other innocent people who have been Wrongfully Convicted of Shaking Baby Syndrome the system has failed them. Rico believe that God will be his Defense attorney in his Post Conviction Appeal, and the true cause of death of his son Baby G.G. will finally bring closure to the family of Gabby and Rico as well. I would like to thank Sue Luttner for giving Rico and all the people who believe in Rico’s innocence the opportunity to publicly express their support and disappointment in the Tulsa OK., Judicial System. For all of the care givers, parents, etc; whose families and lives have been torn apart due to the Medical Myth of Shaking Baby we stand with you. An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Thank you, Ms. Green, for your from-the-heart statement. Please accept my condolences and best wishes. I’m sorry your family is paying such a high price for this mis-step in the evolution of child-abuse medicine. I hope that shedding light on the problem will help push the debate forward, past the flawed model that’s been winning in court for decades.
RICO DION GREEN’S CONVICTION IS HARDLY THE RESULT OF SOUND
TRIAL STRATEGY BY A DEFENSE COUNSEL WHO DECIDED TO PRE-
SENT NO DEFENSE WITH EXPERT TESTIMONY REFUTING SHAKEN
BABY SYNDROME THAT’S MYTH NOT SCIENCE, IN CONTRAST TO AP-
PLIED BIOMECHANICAL SCIENCE ESTABLISHING REASONABLE DOUBT INSTEAD OF THE STATE’S ESTABLISHED PROCEDURE THAT’S
A MEANINGLESS OPPORTUNITY TO FAIRLY BE IMPARTIALLY HEARD
AT TRIAL FOR HIS MERITORIOUS DEFENSE WHILE HIS ATTORNEY’S
REPRESENTATION THAT FELL SO FAR BELOW AN OBJECTIVE STAND-
ARD OF REASONABLENESS THAT IT’S STRONG EVIDENCE OF A CON-
SPIRACY BETWEEN HIS ATTORNEY AND THE PROSECUTOR WHO SH-
OULD KNOW THERE’S A REASONABLE PROBABILITY THAT, BUT FOR
COUNSEL’S UNPROFESSIONAL ERROR, THE RESULT OF THE PRO-
CEEDING WOULD’VE BEEN DIFFERENT DUE TO AN ACQUITTAL BY
THE JURY THAT WOULD’VE CONSCIENTIOUSLY FOUND THE MATER-
IAL FACTS, TO BE IMPARTIAL AND THUS AFFORD DUE PROCESS OF
LAW TO RICO! IMPARTIALITY IS DEFINED BY LOCKHART VERSUS MC-
CREE, 476 U.S. 162, 178 (1986), A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY TO BE
HEARD IS MANDATED BY DUE PROCESS DEFINED BY LOGAN VER-
SUS ZIMMERMAN BRUSH CO., 455 U.S. 422, 430 fn. 5 (1982), THE ES-
TABLISHED STATE PROCEDURE IS QUESTIONABLE UNDER LOGAN,
455 U.S. AT 436, CONSPIRACY IS QUESTIONABLE UNDER TOWER
VERSUS GLOVER, 467 U.S. 914, 919-920 (1984), AND INEFFECTIVE AS-
SISTENCE OF COUNSEL IS DEFINED BY STRICKLAND VERSUS WASH-
INGTON, 466 U.S. 668,688 AND 694 (1984).THE OKLAHOMA INNO-
CENCE PROJECT THUS SHOULD HELP RICO TO FILE A PETITION FOR
POST-CONVICTION RELIEF. MARK CONRAD FAUROT II
God Bless you Sue Luttner for giving the family and friends of Rico Green who have been Wrongfully Convicted and serving a Life Sentence for a crime that never occurred. My name is Antoine Hubbard Sr. I am not an attorney nor do I wish to be. I have known Rico Green since he was 10 years old. I am very familiar with this case an accidental fall down the stairs at his girlfriend mothers apartment Feb. 2009 in Tulsa, Ok. While watching 13 month old G.G. who suffered a fatal fall. I am seeking justice for (2) two decent human beings, 1. G.G. 2. Rico Dion Green and I know that G.G. smile in heaven will brighten up once Rico Green is Exonerated and Freed from prison.
What I am about to address is facts, which are strictly from the courts records, jury trial transcripts, police interrogation video, comments from the Tulsa prosecutor, presiding judge, and the ineffective trial attorneys as well as the ineffective appellate attorneys of record. Rico Green has been truthful that baby G.G. suffered an accidental fall and he immediately called 911 for help. Rico never gave a different account of what happened until he was interrogated by the Tulsa police after hours of questioning on video. You see the abuse of the Reid Interrogation Technique being applied to Rico Green which consists of threats, deception, lies, coercion, and intimidation tactics which caused Rico to sign a FALSE CONFESSION. Identical FALSE CONFESSION as in the Documentary called SCENES OF A CRIME in which ADRIAN THOMAS’s conviction was overturned by the New York’s Court Of Appeals, The States Highest Court. According to Forensic Pathologist John Plunkett, infants can die from short distance falls as what happened in Rico’s case. A complete history of G.G. Medical Records will give true cause of death , unfortunately the trial attorney failed to make G.G.’s entire Medical History part of the record which denied Rico Green a FAIR TRIAL. The Jurors never heard from any expert and sadly for Rico Green his defense attorney did not call one (1) witness, not even a character witness on Rico’s behalf. Rico Green’s Appellate attorney refused to raise the issue of Ineffective Trial counsel—remember defense attorney and appellate attorney both work out the same department.
The Tulsa Oklahoma Medical Examiners lost its accreditation 2009. The State of Oklahoma and the World is aware of the autopsy problems which gave the ruling in Rico Green’s case as cause of G.G. death as Homicide and Shaking Baby Syndrome which remains a matter of opinion, not a proven FACT!
PROSECUTOR IN THE RICO GREEN CASE HAD A CHANGE OF HEART.
Tulsa District attorney stated on record during a Judicial Review hearing that he could not try another one of these cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome and that the Sentencing Judge gave Rico Green too much time. The Judicial Review Hearing was heard by a different Judge who knew nothing about the case and DENIED Rico Green a new TRIAL.
THE SENTENCING JUDGE IN RICO GREEN’S CASE ORDERED A 12 MONTH JUDICIAL REVIEW AFTER IMPOSING A LIFE SENTENCE BECAUSE THE JUDGE FELT THIS WAS A UNIQUE CASE AND WARRANTED THE REVIEW. The family and supporters of Rico Green are very confident God will send a Pro-Bono Attorney who is committed to seeking justice and who will provide Rico with a ZEALOUS DEFENSE along with The Oklahoma Innocence Project. I welcome any questions and can be reached at E-Mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know the world of people need to be on a more honest level with themselves. Rico Green, for the 26 years of his life has been the most respectful, loving and caring person. I could not even put together Rico wanting to harm anyone from a little one or an older person. Little Jericho was loved by Rico a person that accepted him as his own child.
I been knowing Rico for a long time. And I know that he wouldn’t hurt a child. He cared and loved that child like he was the biological father. I know God will bring him out this situation.
I, Clifton Walton, have known Rico since I was in the eight grade. He still encourages from time to time even though he’s in this situation to keep God first and everything will workout in due time. Rico and I attended church programs in high school keeping us from the pressure of bad influences dwelling in the street life of California. Together we rised above the stupidity surrounding us in rural region of California where the only thing for a teenager to do was obtain a record. I truly know Rico Deon Green, and he is a man that any woman would be proud to say they had a hand in raising. He is well respected for the right reasons such as knowledge, politeness, determined goals, and personality. It is truly a shame how the judicial system tells us that we’re innocent until proven guilty but then the rules don’t apply to those in adverse situations. Rico was just a man distraught by the fact that this baby that he loved with all his heart suffered, so he went into shock like anyone would who cares. The police took advantage of that because he’s a young black man with no record and the world as an oyster and Rico had never been questioned by police in that manner before and wasn’t read his constitutional rights to have his attorney present for questioning.
Stay strong we’re exhausting all means to find someone that will at least listen to the truth brother -Cliff
I am gratified to see these comments from people who know Rico personally. I’m sure he finds comfort in your support.
In the Rico Green story, there are two tragedies. A little baby is gone from life and Rico Green got life. It appears here that there is room for doubt in the police account abd therefore the prosecutors. Rico’s personality is very laid back. Why would a laid back person, like Rico go from his personality to another to harm a child that he loves, and kill that child. The punishment of death doesn’t fit the crime for picking up a plunger to taste it. I don’t believe Rico Green flipped out over THAT. There are other possibilities to explain the death of little Gerrico. Someone needs to take another look at this case and add the other possibilities to the mix. A life sentence for Rico is unjust if those other possibilities answer to the death of the child. The police used ALL their focus upon pressing an alleged confession from Rico by exhausting him physically and emotionally. Rico doesn’t havea hhistory of violent behavior or arrests for any. Look at the facts with new, unbiased eyes please.
Rico Green’s case is another example of injustice from a criminal justice system that is supposed to thoroughly investigate an incident. It seems that the detectives only focused on Rico and did not attempt to explore any other plausible scenarios. It’s unfortunate that the detectives in this case created evidence to fit their own narrow findings and support an inadequate investigation, which led to the wrongful conviction of an innocent young man.
Rico was wrongly convicted without a adequate defense attorney…injustice for one is injustice for all …he loved that baby!
The misdiagnosed SBS/AHT cases are tough enough, but when the cases are such that you can categorize them by their respective common denominator, that is when overwhelming becomes well, overwhelming. In Brian’s case, the child’s mother deliberately ignored obvious symptomology for ten days and then blew off a follow up appointment for fear that her abuse would be detected. We are grateful for the evolution of biomechanics and pathology and the doctors who persevere in advocating for the truth.
Sue, it’s like an epidemic. The EMT’s, police and doctors determine – without knowing patient history and without any other corroborating evidence – that the infant was ‘obviously’ a victim of ”’SBS”; or the new buzzword ”NAHT”. Curiously, there appears to be a ”rogue gallery” of the same doctors and the same police as players in this literal persecution of loving, caring parents who are desperate to save their infant’s life. All too often they fail but, even when they succeed, they are severely punished as a result of making that desperate, heart-wrenching ‘911’ call. It is such a travesty but, very, very few in the DA’s offices have the integrity to examine their own cases for potential miscarriages of justice. There needs to be a statewide judiciary panel entrusted and empowered to re-examine these cases. Not to punish misguided prosecutors but rather to potentially release or, at least to re-try cases where a person – be it a father, a mother, a caregiver – have wrongfully been incarcerated for five or ten or even fifteen years. Very few have the means – dollars – to mount an adequate defense and public defenders are not equipped to go up against an almost ‘rabid’ prosecution of the defendants in these types of cases. I cannot thank you enough for giving visibility – and hope – from your writing and blog.
Good articles and we all know the Dr who testified against Jason C here in IOWA is up for a number of charges in child pornography
on his computer and also other charges so how can his testimony even hold up???
Marsha Mills has been in prison seven years after being wrongfully convicted of the death of a 27-month-old who fell down back steps onto cement. First responders told the media and people who know the media that it was SBS — amazingly, seven months before a cause of death was determined. So apparently HIPAA. isn’t considered in such a death, nor is conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. The doctor who was “sure” it was SBS also testified in Tiffani Calise’s case. He has since been proven wrong multiple times, yet the innocent stay behind barbed wire. Thankfully experts like Dr. Barnes, Dr. John Plunkett and Dr. Van Ee, parents, caregivers, families, supporters, writers, researchers and attorneys within the Innocence Project and pro bono attorneys are doing all they can to bring these cases — and there are many — to real justice. We’re not going away.
Thank you for commenting, and for your work in the struggle. If time and space were not finite, I would also have listed Marsha Mills, http://www.marshamills.org/thestory.aspx
(and many others).
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It’s great that you listed so many cases together. I think lay persons can see the patterns more easily when cases are put together, rather than the melodramatic sensationalism of the media reports one by one. Keep up the good work and information sharing! This is a great blog.
Thank you, Tonya. As you know, I had to leave out many, many cases just so I could finally wrap it up, including Elwood Sadowsky, http://www.whale.to/v/man.html
Thank you Sue for bringing this to the attention of others. Short falls will continue to kill children and people will continue to serve long sentences for a crime that was NEVER committed.
Exasperating it certainly is Sue. When you absolutely KNOW for a FACT that a short fall can cause the so called ‘triad’ of SBS symptoms because you’ve witnessed it yourself it is utterly utterly frustrating that these arrogant, ignorant doctors just keep dismissing it.