Posts Tagged ‘child abuse’

Accuser recants in case that sent four women to prison

Four Texas women have been serving long prison terms since a 7-year-old and 9-year-old girl, nieces of one of them, accused them in a lurid tale of assault. Now, the younger accuser has grown up and recanted [Michelle Mondo, My San Antonio]:

“I want my aunt and her friends out of prison,” Stephanie, 25, said by phone last week. “Whatever it takes to get them out I’m going to do. I can’t live my life knowing that four women are sleeping in a cage because of me.”…

On and off the witness stand, the sisters changed their accounts of the timing, the use of weapons, the perpetrators and other basic details of the assault every time they told it to authorities, records show.

P.S. And another Texas recantation, of charges lodged during a bitter custody fight, the defendant has served more than 12 years of a 20-year sentence.

Law enforcement and prosecution roundup

December 30 roundup

Medical roundup

  • Talking back to the “malpractice litigation is no big deal, docs should grin and bear it” theorists [David Sack, ACP via White Coat] “Worst states for medical malpractice risk” [White Coat]
  • Jury awards $25 million against hospital that didn’t file abuse report after boy came in with broken wrist [Fayetteville, N.C. Observer]
  • “Doctors Question Disability Decisions as Agency Moves to Speed Up Process” [WSJ via Walter Russell Mead]
  • New “Federalist Society equivalents” in medicine (Benjamin Rush Society), business, foreign affairs [John J. Miller, Philanthropy]
  • Fieger wins $144 million verdict blaming hospital for newborn’s cerebral palsy [suburban Detroit Tribune]
  • Feds force birth control coverage on Catholic organizations, and free association suffers [Roger Pilon, Cato]
  • Phone call from doc to patient’s home did not establish subsequent jurisdiction to sue there [Madison County Record] NY steps up program to streamline courts’ handling of med-mal claims [WSJ]

June 23 roundup

May 20 roundup

Shaken-baby syndrome: the doubts

In dozens of prosecutions each year, parents or caregivers are charged after infants who died under their care have been found to display supposedly infallible indicators of abuse — in particular, subdural and retinal hemorrhage with brain swelling. Many convicted defendants stoutly maintain their innocence all along; others are sent to prison on the basis of equivocal “confessions”. Even when (as is common) there is no pattern of previous child abuse, it often happens that authorities remove other children from an alleged abuser’s home as legal action proceeds. Has the hope of using cutting-edge forensics to identify abusers wound up leading the authorities and courts to inflict new injustices? [Emily Bazelon, New York Times Magazine] More: Balko.

February 2 roundup

  • Many of the best New Jersey sledding slopes are off limits now: “Litigators ruin pretty much everything” [Bainbridge]
  • Granola bar trans-fat lawsuit leaves Russell Jackson unimpressed;
  • “Criminal barbering”: license lapse gets 82-year-old Oregon hair-cutter in legal trouble [Perry]
  • Tomorrow’s economy won’t thrive if municipal authorities strangle innovative businesses where they incubate [Conor Friedersdorf, City Journal]
  • Need to bring property taxes under control? Try litigation reform [NJLRA]
  • Convicted at height of 90s child-abuse prosecution fever, Ohio pair seek to reopen case [Briefcase] More: Balko.
  • Here’s an idea: “Let the shareholders decide if SOX is worth the costs.” [Ribstein]
  • Retired Massachusetts attorney found in possession of stolen art trove [five years ago on Overlawyered] Updates courtesy reader Ronald Stimbert: Legal Blog Watch 2008 (attorney convicted); Cape Cod Times 2010 (paintings returned to owner).