After 17 years in prison for an infant's death at her San Diego daycare center, Suzanne Johnson is in the forefront of legal challenges to “shaken baby syndrome” as courts catch up with medical advances in understanding the mechanisms of childhood brain trauma. Appeals such as Johnson's are occurring with greater frequency at both the federal and state level, said Deborah Tuerkheimer, a Northwestern University law professor who wrote a book on the subject. “Criminal convictions are final, and science moves on,” she said.
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California ‘shaken baby’ case in vanguard of new legal challenges