Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nanny Is Innocent

Sure starting to look that way, and I expect the charges will be quietly dropped with suspicion turning to the Saudi family whose privacy the Globe is protecting:

"Trial of nanny in baby’s death slated for October" by Peter Schworm Globe Staff  May 19, 2015

WOBURN — The murder trial of Aisling Brady McCarthy, the nanny accused of fatally assaulting a 1-year-old she was baby-sitting in 2013, has been pushed back until the fall, as the state medical examiner’s office continues its review of the shaken-baby case.

The trial is expected to last about six weeks, Judge Maureen Hogan said. Prosecutors said they could call as many as 50 witnesses, while McCarthy’s defense team said they have about 10 specialists who could testify.

The limited availability of witnesses during the summer contributed to the delay.


Last year, Middlesex prosecutors dropped murder charges against a Malden man in the death of his infant son after the medical examiner’s office received new information about the family’s medical history. The medical examiner had initially ruled that the 6-month-old died from shaking injuries to his head, but revised its opinion after consulting with specialists and conducting genetic tests of relatives.

The coroner’s review in the Sabir case is expected to be completed early next month.

Prosecutors say 1-year-old Rehma Sabir was in McCarthy’s exclusive care when she suffered massive brain injuries consistent with violent shaking. Specialists concluded that the injuries could not have been inflicted before that day.

McCarthy’s lawyers have maintained her innocence, noting that the child sustained bone and compression fractures several weeks before she died, when she was traveling abroad with her family and not in McCarthy’s care.

McCarthy was freed on bail earlier this month after more than two years in custody. A judge granted her request, over the objections of prosecutors, after receiving assurances from federal immigration officials that she would not be deported to her native Ireland. She was placed under home confinement with GPS monitoring.

She left the courthouse without speaking to reporters. Thompson said McCarthy was “thankful” to be out of custody.

I'll bet she is, and she probably should never have been in there; however, the wheels of AmeriKan ju$tice move slow when it comes to mistakes. They frame you damn quick.


I know I told you I bailed on the case, but I elected to post it today for this reason:

"New doubts are cast on shaken-baby diagnoses; Accepted science is faulty, lawyers say" by Peter Schworm Globe Staff  May 26, 2015

The diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome, the cornerstone of a closely watched case in Massachusetts and many other abuse and murder prosecutions, is facing intense scrutiny around the country amid growing legal challenges to its reliability and underlying science.

“It’s really an acknowledgment of unknowns!” 


Since 2001, about 200 shaken baby cases ended when “charges were dropped or dismissed, defendants were found not guilty, or convictions were overturned,” according to a recent report by the Washington Post, in conjunction with Northwestern University’s Medill Justice Project.

In Massachusetts, the state medical examiner’s office is reconsidering its ruling that 1-year-old Rehma Sabir of Cambridge died in 2013 from blunt force head injuries, and that her death was a homicide. Her nanny, Aisling Brady McCarthy, is charged with murder in her death, and her lawyers have submitted reports from a number of specialists challenging the cause of death.

Child abuse specialists say they carefully consider a range of alternatives before determining that a child was intentionally harmed, and say the science around shaken baby syndrome, also known as abusive head trauma, is accepted by an overwhelming majority of physicians and scientists across multiple disciplines. Many dismiss critics as a decided minority who testify almost exclusively for the defense in criminal cases.

But in the presence of findings known in the medical profession as the “triad” — subdural hemorrhaging, bleeding in the retina, and brain swelling — other causes are sometimes overlooked, some medical specialists and lawyers say. Symptoms that were once seen as clear-cut evidence of abuse can be explained in other ways, they say.

In September, for example, prosecutors dropped murder charges against a Malden man when the medical examiner’s office changed its ruling that his 6-month-old son had died from head injuries caused by shaking. Medical specialists consulted by the father’s lawyer found that the boy’s mother and grandmother had a rare genetic defect that makes them more susceptible to ruptures of arteries or veins, and concluded that the infant had died of natural causes.

I'm not going to shake free a link (if there even is one here), sorry.

Alice Newton, the specialist who determined that the child died of abusive head trauma, also ruled in the case of Rehma Sabir, the 1-year-old from Cambridge. Newton determined that Rehma was a victim of abusive head trauma, and there was no other medical explanation for her death.

Tests found that the infant suffered from extensive bleeding in her brain and the backs of her eyes, acute injuries that specialists said led directly to her death.

During the last two years, McCarthy’s lawyers have questioned the cause of Rehma’s death and the validity of shaken baby diagnoses in general, a skepticism summarized in a motion filed last summer.

“This is a shaken baby syndrome prosecution,” they wrote. “That means it is a prosecution based on a scientific hypothesis that has crumbled over the last decade.”

A strong majority of doctors reject that claim. In a 2012 report, the Centers for Disease Control found that “serious traumatic brain injury in young children is largely the result of abuse” and specialists say the science used to diagnose abuse is sound.

“Abusive head trauma and shaken baby syndrome are real,” said Cindy Christian, chairwoman of child abuse and neglect prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “The science hasn’t shifted, it’s expanded, just like in every area of medicine.”

What's next, cholesterol is good food?!

Christian said critics’ contention that abusive head trauma diagnoses rely exclusively on the presence of the “triad” is mistaken, and that specialists explore all other alternatives.

“It’s never the case,” Christian said. “You don't only look at those three things, you look at the whole picture.”

Kevin Whaley, assistant chief medical examiner in Virginia, said that while there are any number of causes of retinal bleeding, in abuse cases the hemorrhaging is “all over the place.”

Similarly, while an accidental fall might cause some bleeding in the brain, more extensive bleeding is often a sign of abuse. “If a baby is shaken, the head not only goes back and forth, it rotates,” said Whaley, a spokesman for the American Society for Clinical Pathology. “The neck isn’t strong enough to stop the head from moving, and the blood vessels in the brain can’t withstand it.”

Whaley said he begins his investigation with the assumption a child has not been killed, and “tries to prove it’s something else.” Even when the triad of clinical symptoms are present, he looks for other possibilities, he said.

McCarthy’s lawyers say Rehma was sick much of her life and suffered from a bleeding disorder, failure to gain weight, and gastrointestinal problems. At the time of her death, tests revealed several healing fractures that were several weeks old, from a time when she was traveling with her family overseas.

Critics of shaken baby diagnoses say Rehma’s medical issues fit a profile.

“In so many cases, the parents have been in the hospital off and on, and there’s just never been a decent explanation,” Tuerkheimer said. “You just have all these signs that it’s a sick baby.”

That's sad.

Authorities charged McCarthy with murder after determining she had sole custody of the child the day she was injured. But Tuerkheimer said suspected abuse victims in some cases suffered brain injuries before the day in question.

“It’s apparent the baby was not well when it was delivered to the caregiver,” she said. “It’s not only shaking that causes this, you have to rule other things out. Many if not most of these cases seem to be naturally caused.”

McCarthy, who was granted bail early this month, is scheduled to stand trial in October.

John Graef, a pediatrician who cares for newborns at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said many alternatives to abusive head trauma can be easily ruled out with testing, and that specialists are trained to explore all possibilities. While signs of abuse may sometimes be determined to be accidental, that is rarely the case, he said.

But Keith Findley, assistant law professor at the University of Wisconsin and the codirector of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, said the consensus around shaken baby diagnoses has crumbled.

“There is no gold standard diagnostic criteria for shaken baby syndrome,” he said. “The science is changing.”

OMG! Cut it out!


She may not want to go home:

"Ireland set to defy Catholic history with gay marriage vote" by Dara Doyle Bloomberg News  May 22, 2015

DUBLIN — As Ireland prepares to vote on same-sex marriage, polls show overwhelming support to change the law and underscore the increasingly secular nature of what was once among the most devout Catholic societies in Europe.

The ‘‘yes’’ campaign has unified diverse strands of Irish society just 20 years since Ireland decriminalized gay sex, from Prime Minister Enda Kenny to U2 singer Bono and the local chief executive of Twitter. It holds a lead of between 30 and 40 percentage points in surveys before Friday’s referendum.

The last few years have seen gay rights blossom in countries where it would have been unthinkable months ago. More US states allow same-sex marriage than ban it, while Ireland would follow traditionally conservative countries such as Spain and Argentina in changing the law.

The campaign for a ‘‘no vote’’ is mostly focusing on the potential implications for children, with one poster telling voters that ‘‘two men can’t replace a mother.’’ Opponents say allowing such marriages erodes the fundamental meaning of wedlock and might be little more than a financial arrangement.....


Won't be as many kids that need to be cared for by a nanny.


Turnout heavy as Ireland votes on gay marriage
Resounding yes to gay marriage in a new Ireland
Locals laud Ireland’s vote on gay marriage
A paradigm shift the Irish were more than ready for

The narrative sure caught me by surprise.

Northern Ireland unity leader hospitalized

Bodies of babies found in old septic tank cemetery? 


Enough guilt to go around there.

UPDATE: Medical examiner needs more time to review findings in 1-year-old’s death

The question now is when to dismiss the case and forget the little girl whose Saudi parents are the likely culprits.