The Madeleine Brand Show for December 30, 2011

A plea for clemency in shaken baby syndrome case

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Getty Images/Peter Cade

Questions are being raised over shaken baby syndrome

Governor Jerry Brown has - on his desk - a request for clemency. It was made by the lawyer for a woman named Shirley Ree Smith. She was convicted in 1997 of shaking her baby grandson so hard that he died. Smith spent 10 years in prison until a federal appeals court found no support for the prosecution's theory. But several months ago the US Supreme Court reinstated the conviction and now Smith could be sent back to prison. We discuss the case and the growing doubts about shaken baby syndrome.


Emily Bazelon, legal expert from

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