Thursday, January 5, 2012

7th Circuit Recognizes Irrelevance of Shaken Baby Confession

Child Abuse Defense News by David S. Marshall
January 5, 2012

New developments in law, medicine, and psychology affecting child abuse cases. For additional news and information, visit

7th Circuit Recognizes Irrelevance of Shaken Baby Confession

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held a confession made in a shaken baby case legally useless. The court's analysis could apply to other confessions that also come in response to inaccurate technical information.

The court's opinion was written by Judge Richard Posner. Posner is perhaps the most eminent American judge not sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court. His role will enhance the decision's persuasive impact on other courts.

The confession came to the court via an unusual route. Rick Aleman had been prosecuted for the first-degree murder of a baby boy at his day-care service. The prosecutor dismissed the charge before trial. Aleman then sued several police officers and the village employing some of them for violations of his civil rights. The district court granted the defendants summary judgment—victory without trial—and Aleman appealed that judgment to the Seventh Circuit.

For the facts and the court's reasoning, click here.

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