Scientific Evidence

Crime or Hospital Care?

By Jules M. Epstein

When a child dies and there are signs of physical abnormalities—bruises, tearing, etc.—the result may be testimony of “unquestionable” or “unmistaken” signs of sexual abuse. That in turn may lead to criminal prosecution, conviction, and even a sentence of death. Yet both the advance of science and the simple act of paying greater attention to detail can show that what was thought to be an attack was in fact the consequence of hospital care.

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