I am an avid fan of Forensic Files, which ran from the mid-90s to 2011. However, some episodes make me cringe, as we know that some of that "irrefutable" science was, in fact, very refutable.

Getty Images/ Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Getty Images/ Texas Department of Criminal Justice

We now know that some "science" that was used to convict people was junk- polygraph tests and bite mark analysis are two disgraced techniques you probably know. But what about Shaken Baby Syndrome?

Robert Robinson may have been wrongly convicted with what many scientists consider a problematic (at best) theory. He's been on Death Row since 2003 for supposedly causing the death of his toddler daughter by shaking her.

Certainly, a child, especially a small infant, can be shaken hard enough to snap their neck, however, is it possible to shake a small child hard enough to kill them, without leaving other obvious marks of abuse?

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Biomechanical engineers have research that contradicts the idea that a baby can be shaken with enough force to cause internal head injuries without leaving, "external marks, bruises, or injuries to the neck or spine."

Even the doctor who developed Shaken Baby Theory believes it is overused in criminal cases, and that too many times other possible explanations for the child's death were not properly considered.

Robert Robinson's daughter was two years old when she died, fairly old to have been a "shaken" baby. Robinson, who is autistic, had difficulty explaining to medical professionals his daughter's condition.

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He told them she had fallen from her bed. She also had been suffering a serious respiratory infection and was prescribed medications that no sane doctor would give to a two-year-old now, including codeine.

The staff confused his autism with a lack of affection or care and reported him for child abuse. One nurse took to the stand to say he had sexually abused his child- a claim that was completely uncorroborated by any evidence, and it quite possibly affected the jury's decision to put Robinson to death.

Robinson's attorney tried for a new trial in 2018 with no success, despite a law, "that allows courts to overturn a conviction when the scientific evidence that originally led to the verdict has since changed or been discredited."

Now Robinson sits on Death Row, and while he is not currently scheduled to die, it could happen as early as next year. His best hope is clemency, an incredibly rare "gift" from hard-on-crime Texas governors.

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