Riposte to R.I.P Response
I appreciated the response, but have to own that I wrote what I felt, which was not based on any medical or legal information. The reality is that we don’t actually know if Sally was guilty of anything or not, rather we do know that an incorrect statistical assumption has brought to light the difficulties of jury trials hearing expert witnesses. It appears that this evidence played little part in either the original conviction or the first appeal; in the second appeal, it came under criticism on legal rather than medical grounds.
I do think that Sally shouldn't have been imprisoned, but I don’t think prison is the right place for a lot of people, particularly not for a mother who might need therapeutic support, and Sally would have needed that in either circumstance. I would also agree with the European Court’s ruling that the boys who killed James Bulger had an unfair trial, which prevented them from accessing the therapeutic support they needed, fed them through the adversarial system inappropriately, as well as a trial process which delayed the psychological process of coming to terms with what they had done. I would take the same approach with any number of perpetrators who can also be read as victims.
It was also wrong to scapegoat Meadows; the world of child protection is not one where proof can withstand rigorous scientific testing, but most children are murdered by their parents. This case reminds me of Cleveland where the paediatrician and social worker involved were scapegoated for their excessive zeal, and there were some flaws in the casework, but I suspect there were also some children who were returned to homes where they had been abused.
Meadow has experienced a personal humiliation, but I think the case against him was wrong because some children will still be murdered by their parents, and it would be wrong to leave unchallenged any misanthropic assumptions of the child protection system.