Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma: Wrongful Conviction Risks, Mis-information effects....

Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma: Wrongful Conviction Risks, Mis-information Effects, and Psychological Consultation

Matthew B. Johnson, Christine Baker, Barbara Prempeh & Shereen R. Lewis


ABSTRACT

Psychologists as experts may be engaged in criminal or family

court cases involving Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head

Trauma (SBS/AHT). There are unsettled questions within medical

specialties regarding the diagnosis of SBS/AHT, as well as the

mechanisms and timing of injuries. Psychologists need to be


cautious about providing testimony based on findings from dis-

ciplines other than psychology. Forensic psychological consulta-

tion in SBS/AHT can be informed by the record of exoneration in


these cases. Also, psychological research on processes in wrong-

ful conviction such as the “mis-information effect” and forensic


“confirmation bias” can inform such consultation and testimony.