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Sperling to speak about shaken baby syndrome


September 19, 2008

Carrie Sperling, executive director of the Arizona Justice Project, will speak about shaken baby syndrome cases at a seminar hosted by the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association on Sept. 19-21 at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Dallas.

The conference is titled, "Fighting for the Innocent: Changing the World One Case at a Time."

Sperling's presentation will address the fact that many of the forensic sciences once used to convict criminal defendants have recently been called into question as DNA results continue to exonerate inmates throughout the country.

"However, controversy surrounds one area where defendants cannot look to DNA for exoneration - a diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome," states Sperling, a visiting associate clinical professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. "Police, prosecutors and pediatricians have increasingly used the syndrome as a way to explain infant deaths, while many biomechanical engineers, forensic pathologists and neurosurgeons believe the syndrome either does not exist or is widely over-diagnosed."

Sperling will explain the evolution of the diagnosis and discuss the controversies that exist within the medical and scientific communities about these infant death cases.

Judy Nichols, Judith.Nichols@asu.edu
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law