To the Editor.

As physicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of victims of child abuse, we feel compelled to speak out regarding the scientific evidence as portrayed in the trial of Louise Woodward for the murder of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen. Both in the United States and in England, media publicity surrounding the case has led to considerable sentiment that she was convicted despite allegedly irrefutable scientific evidence presented by the defense that the infant's injuries had occurred days to weeks earlier. Many in the media and the public have failed to credit the jury in this case with having had the intelligence to understand that the prosecution put forward well-established medical evidence that overwhelmingly supported a violent shaking/impact episode on the day in question, when Matthew was in the sole custody of Ms Woodward. The hypothesis put forward by the defense that minor trauma caused a “re-bleed” of...

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