Texas may well execute soon an innocent man on the false premise of "shaken baby syndrome". [1] He would be the first in US history.

This article was written by the police officer who helped send Robert Roberson to the death row in 2003. He changed his mind since then.

John Grisham has also written about this case. [2]

Please spread the word. As the retired police officer wrote:

> It would be a terrible legacy for all of us to be associated with executing an innocent man based on a rush to judgment and bad science. We must prevent Texas from making a tragic, irreversible mistake.





The death penalty should be abolished. You don't get sentenced to death for harming others, you get sentenced to death for being unsympathetic to the jury (because of racism or, as in this case, because you don't appear to exhibit the right emotions) and for not having enough money to afford a good lawyer.

You can die from being poor in a bunch of different ways in this country, but this is one we could easily eliminate.

Here's what the Innocence Project has to say about this case:

What to Know About Robert Roberson on Texas Death Row for a Crime That Never Occurred

Any parent knows that toddlers are constantly bashing thier heads off things because they’re top heavy and learning to walk they constantly fall over and tumble off things. One of my daughters used to constantly have a lump on her head from smacking it off something. My friends son used to run full tilt into things like brick walls given half a chance, the noise it made was awful. I stand to be corrected on this but if I remember rightly the male scientist who came up with shaken baby syndrome didn’t have kids and hadn’t considered the possibility that these types of injuries could be self inflicted.
> Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.
I find it strange how being killed when innocent is considered so much worse than being wrongly incarcerated.

The state has already taken prime years of life (age 36-56). The potential execution just seems like salt in that wound.

This isn't the first time Texas has done something like this.

John Grisham's article about this is readable at

original is

This whole article boils down to "it's really stupid to execute people rather than putting them in prison for life". If it's even only "1 person in 1000 is innocent" then I don't see how you can conclude anything else when everything I've read says it's much higher imprisonment of the innocent than 1 in 1000.
If you want to understand more about how the science on Shaken Baby changed, this is a great place to start:

That HN post links to which explains in detail how the "triad" or symptoms that has been assumed to mean Shaken Baby actually can happen from a variety of other medical causes.

Death sentence in this case made literally no sense either.

Was this person at risk of going and shaking other babies?

Life sentences should be capped at a decade, and all charges related to an incident must always be concurrently served (discourages charge stacking). Criminal records should also ghost after 10 years from release (like a credit report).

The death penalty should be abolished; outside of war the state should not possess the legal ability to execute anybody. Reason being is the state screws up; just because the state can pass a law doesn't mean those it victimizes under said law deserve it. Homosexuality and cannabis are great examples of this dynamic. You cannot give back years taken, you can only make them very wealthy and cost taxpayers for continuing to elect unrepentant jailers.

None of these protections should apply to oath-taking elected office holders convicted of treason or other high crimes against the people. Other than for said oath takers: criminal punishment should be made optional, with the other option being expatriation from the nation with the punishment on pause in the event you return. The fact we have a system which acts to make the 'offender' actively miserable, rather than separate the 'offender' but otherwise treat them with dignity, shows we are still a very barbaric society in the West.

It's not only US. Many justice systems depend on direct witness or experts and expert who can say anything. Witness can be prosecuted for lying, experts not because they only have opinions.
Although I'm not an expert on this case, it's wise to remain skeptical when hearing only one party's perspective on a court decision. The science in question might be dubious, but there could be other evidence, or the story might be more complex than it appears.

I tend to root for the underdog against an institution, but we've already witnessed significant exaggerations and manipulations from the defense in public cases. The Serial podcast comes to mind, as well as the series Making a Murderer.

Currently getting Access Denied error:

>> Access Denied You don't have permission to access "" on this server. Reference #18.2d503617.1716531531.49adf

The main lesson here is science changes, no matter how incontrovertible it appears. No matter how many experts corroborate your hypothesis and claims, science is evergreen. Don’t let people tell you “it’s settled” it almost never is, especially when it comes to areas that are highly politicized (like SBS was).
Capital punishment is amoral also because it is inherently ignorant.
The nurses and doctors who testified in these cases about their "shaken baby syndrome" theories should be sentenced to life in prison
Dr. John Ross, the pediatrician who examined Nikki the day she died, testified that she had bruising on her chin, as well as along her left cheek and jaw. Dr. Ross said she also had a large subdural hematoma, which he described as “bleeding outside the brain, but 3 inside the skull.” He said there was edema on the brain tissue, and that her brain had actually shifted from the right side to the left. He said that, in his opinion, Nikki

Courtney said that she once witnessed [Roberson] shake Nikki by the arms in an attempt to make her stop crying. Rachel Cox then testified that [Roberson] had a “bad temper,” and that she had witnessed him shake and spank Nikki when she was crying. Rachel said she had seen this happen about ten times. She also recalled a time that [Roberson] threatened to kill Nikki.

This case was reviewed under Texas' Junk Science law. It's a more complicated case than a cheap conviction on bad science.

You can read the prosecution's brief. There is ample evidence of terrible behavior.