ARTICLE: MILITARY LAW REVIEW: SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME: DAUBERT AND MRE 702'S FAILURE TO EXCLUDE UNRELIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND THE NEED FOR REFORM Skip over navigation
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Military Law Review

ARTICLE: MILITARY LAW REVIEW: SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME: DAUBERT AND MRE 702'S FAILURE TO EXCLUDE UNRELIABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE AND THE NEED FOR REFORM

Winter, 2011

Military Law Review

210 Mil. L. Rev. 1

Author

MAJOR ELIZABETH A. WALKER *

Excerpt

Audrey Edmunds' day as a child care provider began like any other, but ended in her being accused of murdering seven-month-old Natalie Beard. 1 Natalie was fussy that morning when her mother dropped her off at approximately 7:30 a.m.. 2 Edmunds placed Natalie in the master bedroom, gave her a bottle, and left her alone while she dressed her own daughters. 3 When Audrey checked on Natalie thirty minutes later, the baby was limp and unresponsive. 4 Audrey immediately called 911 and an ambulance rushed the baby to the hospital; Natalie died later that night. 5 The state charge Audrey charged with murder based upon a medical opinion that the baby died from "extremely vigorous shaking." 6 The baby was diagnosed with retinal and subdural hemorrhages. 7 No witnesses testified that Audrey shook the baby and the government presented no other physical evidence of trauma. 8 Audrey maintained her innocence, yet the court convicted her of murder and sentenced her to eighteen years in prison based on the medical examiner's testimony that the baby suffered from shaken baby syndrome. 9

The case of Audrey Edmunds describes the characteristic facts and prosecution of shaken baby syndrome (SBS). Shaken baby syndrome is a "diagnosis" in which doctors believe a caregiver of an infant grabs the infant by the torso and violently shakes the infant, causing the head to thrust back and forth, resulting in a whiplash effect. Studies on SBS originated in the ...
 
 
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