forensics

RECENT POSTS

Queens Prosecutors Appalled By ‘Shaken Baby’ Op-Ed

Queens County Courthouse

Comments on this post — The Real Consensus On Shaken Baby Syndrome? — continue to roll in. One of the most eloquent arrived in the form of an email rather than a comment: A letter to The New York Times from Marjory Fisher and Leigh Bishop, Queens prosecutors who handle many “shaken baby” cases. Ms. Bishop told me that after several editing back-and-forths with the Times, an editor told her that it was too late to run the letter.

In it, the prosecutors decry the New York Times op-ed piece in which law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer wrote that “experts are questioning the scientific basis for shaken baby syndrome.”

They accuse her of “a feeble attempt to elevate and equate fringe supposition contrived strictly for use in the courtroom to the level of widely-accepted medical science and research that has been supported by hundreds of studies and millions of hours of clinical experience around the world.”

Here it is:
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Pediatrics Academy President-Elect On ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’

American Academy of Pediatrics President-Elect Robert Block

This CommonHealth post — The Real Consensus On Shaken Baby Syndrome — has brought such a cornucopia of powerful comments that one media-watcher even called it an interesting exploration of Internet journalism. The Knight Science Journalism Tracker, which critiques science media, writes here:

It’s an interesting way of doing journalism in the blog era. Instead of calling sources for comment, open it up to anyone who cares to respond. I’m guessing that even reporters as good as Goldberg and Zimmerman would not have found some of these fascinating responses using the old-fashioned tricks of our trade.

Too true! And we thank you all for allowing us to host your discussion. Our own contributions for today: Rachel Zimmerman heard again from Deborah Tuerkheimer, the law professor whose New York Times op-ed piece triggered this outpouring of response (see below). She also gained some helpful insights from a Children’s Hospital Boston specialist.

And I spoke with Dr. Robert W. Block in his official capacity as the president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has 60,000 members. If anyone knows what the consensus really is, I figured, he must.

The debate will surely continue, I said, but if you could post the final word on this, what would it be?
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