In 1999, facing devastating testimony from a man considered at the time to be one of the world’s leading pediatric pathologists and a possible life sentence, Sherry Sherret-Robinson pled guilty to suffocating her four-month-old son, something she had always said she didn’t do.
Yesterday, she was cleared. A panel of three Ontario judges set aside her conviction, saying she had been wrongfully convicted. The work of Dr. Charles Smith, the pathologist who testified that Sherret-Robinson’s son had been asphyxiated, has been discredited in recent years. Sherret-Robinson is the second person cleared of a conviction based on faulty testimony from Smith, and nearly 30 additional cases are under review.
The wrongful conviction has taken a toll on her life, reports the Toronto Star. She served a year in prison before being released, and also lost custody of her eldest son. She has struggled to find work due to her criminal record and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Read the full story – and more on the other pending Smith cases
. (Toronto Star, 12/08/09)
Unvalidated or improper forensics, including faulty testimony from medical examiners, has been a factor in at least half of the wrongful convictions overturned through DNA testing to date.
Learn more about forensics as a cause of wrongful conviction here