Tagged: criminal advocacy

#TheSyndromeFilm: Shaken Baby Syndrome Documentary and Wrongful Convictions

The Syndrome_IG copy smWe are pleased to join investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith and filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith in announcing that their powerful film on shaken baby syndrome, “The Syndrome” will be available everywhere on video on demand starting April 15, 2016. iTunes, DirecTV, In Demand (cable outlets), Amazon Instant and so many more are all distributing the film.

An estimated 1,000 innocent people are currently incarcerated based on doctors diagnosing shaken baby syndrome, a child abuse theory that has been disavowed as “junk science.” The prosecutions, false allegations and devastation of innocent peoples’ lives continues even as the science has dissolved.

Several years ago, in England, the prosecution re-examined a series of its shaken baby convictions and re-evaluated its policies and procedures for handling such cases.  Interestingly, the new wrongful conviction integrity unit in the LA County District Attorney’s Office told California Public Radio that they plan to review shaken baby cases.

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In Memoriam: Monroe Henry Freedman, April 10, 1928 – February 26, 2015

As many of you may know, Monroe H. Freedman died on February 26, 2015. His funeral was held yesterday, March 1, 2015 and his obituary is available at this link.

Criminal practitioners of all stripes owe a tremendous debt to Prof. Freedman. He was a dean, a scholar, a writer, an outspoken defender of civil rights and liberties. But for our community, what he really did was to provide intellectual and moral legitimacy to ethical criminal advocacy. Without his integrity, intelligence, and courage, criminal defense lawyers would still be accused of being no better than hired guns, having no moral compass. He legitimized zealous criminal advocacy by grounding it in law, ethics, and morality; and by his own intelligence and integrity. By doing so, he improved the quality of criminal litigation on both sides of the aisle. He inspired generations of law students and lawyers  to do better with pride. His generous and open assistance to students, other professors, lawyers – to anyone who sought his help – was absolutely unique. He made us all better and he made the system better.

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