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Crime Australian Mom Who Was Convicted of Killing Her 4 Babies Is Not Guilty, Say Scientists

06:40  08 may  2021
06:40  08 may  2021 Source:   people.com

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Nearly two decades after Folbigg was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of other causes. (Peter Rae/AP). Over a decade, Kathleen Folbigg gave birth to each baby and then mourned the baby ’s death, one after another, saying that she had found them lifeless in their cribs. Then, in 2003, a jury convicted the Australian woman of smothering them. She was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder and manslaughter, branded by the media as the country’s “worst female serial killer ” and “most hated woman.”

Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. “We know now from a lot of our work with families who are unfortunate in that they carry genetic risk that it does happen,” said Gecz, who works with children suffering rare and fatal disabilities. In 2015, Folbigg's lawyers successfully petitioned the then governor for a judicial investigation of her convictions based on concerns raised by several forensic pathologists.

Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of murdering her four children, a growing list of scientists say they believe she's innocent.

a young man in a blue shirt: Fairfax Media/Getty © Provided by People Fairfax Media/Getty

Kathleen Folbigg was found guilty in 2003 of smothering her children — Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura — each before their second birthday, after she reported finding them, one after another, lifeless in their cribs.

a young man in a blue shirt: Kathleen Folbigg was found guilty in 2003 of smothering her children — Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura — each before their second birthday © Fairfax Media/Getty Kathleen Folbigg was found guilty in 2003 of smothering her children — Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura — each before their second birthday

She was sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder and manslaughter with a non-parole period of 30 years — which was reduced to 25 years after an appeal.

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A woman who was dubbed Australia ’s “worst female serial killer ” after she was found guilty of killing four of her children has received the backing of dozens of scientists who , nearly two decades later, say the children may have all actually died of natural causes. Kathleen Folbigg has been behind bars for the past 18 years after her May 2003 conviction The same scientists also said they uncovered a variant of a gene in the boys that had been known to send mice into fatal epileptic fits. Eighteen years into her 30-year sentence, Folbigg has now filed a petition with the New South Wales state governor

Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. Attorney General Mark Speakman said he instructed the governor to hold Blanch’s inquiry “to ensure public confidence in the administration of justice.” Blanch concluded that Folbigg was “untruthful” and “unbelievable” in her attempts to obscure her guilt . Blanch had also heard fresh evidence from Carola Vinuesa, co-director of the Australian National University’s Center for Personalised Immunology, that both girls and their

Now, 18 years into her sentence, a group of 90 scientists have submitted a petition to pardon Folbigg for what they call "a miscarriage of justice."

"There is no medical evidence" to support the prosecution's case that Folbigg smothered each of the children, the scientists argue.

Instead, the group says they believe that the babies may have died of genetic causes.

In 2018, geneticists found that both Sarah and Laura had a genetic mutation in the CALM2 gene, which can cause sudden death in infants and children, according to the petition.

Scientists are still working to determine if there are strong genetic links to the boys' deaths, pediatric geneticist Jozef Gecz told the Associated Press.

An autopsy performed at the time of death showed that Patrick, who died at 8 months, suffered from epilepsy. His death was attributed to airway obstruction due to a seizure and an infection, AP reports.

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An Australian woman who was convicted of killing her four children 18 years ago has petitioned the New South Wales governor for a pardon. Kathleen Folbigg, 53, was convicted on three charges of murder and one of manslaughter in 2003 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. But dozens of scientists have backed her claims that her children died from natural causes and claim she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice. Kathleen Folbigg appears via video link during a convictions inquiry at the New South Wales Coroners Court, in Sydney, in 2019. Pic: AP.

She was convicted of killing her four babies . But now scientists are speaking up. Australian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation's worst female serial killers who smothered her four children over a decade. But a growing number of scientists say she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice. The schism between legal and scientific opinion has grown with advancements in genetic research in the 18 years since Folbigg was convicted on three charges of murder and one of manslaughter.

Caleb's death at just 19 days old was reported as sudden infant death syndrome.

In the petition, the scientists argue that Folbigg's conviction is based in part on the discredited theory coined "Meadow's Law," which assumes that the likelihood of more than two children from one family dying of genetic causes is so unlikely that there must be foul play involved.

However, Gecz — who works with children suffering rare and fatal disabilities and is one of the 90 experts to sign the petition — explains that this is no longer a scientifically supported theory.

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"We know now from a lot of our work with families who are unfortunate in that they carry genetic risk that it does happen," he told the AP.

Australian mom convicted of killing 4 children seeks pardon

  Australian mom convicted of killing 4 children seeks pardon CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. Australian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation’s worst female serial killers who smothered her four children over a decade. But a growing number of scientists say she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice. The schismAustralian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation’s worst female serial killers who smothered her four children over a decade. But a growing number of scientists say she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice.

Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. Australian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation’s worst female serial killers who smothered her four children over a decade. But a growing number of scientists say she could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice. The schism between legal and scientific opinion has grown with advancements in genetic research in the 18 years since Folbigg was convicted on three charges of murder and one of

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Nearly two decades after an Australian woman was convicted of killing her four children, dozens of scientists are backing the claim that they may have died of natural causes. Australian law says Kathleen Folbigg is one of the nation’s worst female serial killers who The three appeal court judges found that there was ample evidence for Blanch to conclude Folbigg was guilty . Folbigg’s lawyers brought reports of 10 medical and scientific experts to Blanch’s inquiry. Prosecutors brought nine experts of their own. “This was not a case in which the conclusion was at

In addition to Meadow's Law, prosecutors also used circumstantial evidence, including interpretations of vague entries from Folbigg's journal to make their case, the petition states.

One such entry read, "Obviously, I am my father's daughter," which prosecutors interpreted as Folbigg admitting she had "inherited the sin of killing" from her father, who stabbed Folbigg's mother to death when Folbiig was 18 months old, according to AP.

Folbigg denied this interpretation, testifying that "I believed and thought at the time that my father's actions ruined my life and my life never seemed to go right from there."

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In their petition, the scientists write that the courts have rejected medical evidence in favor of the journal entries, "which contained no admissions of guilt."

"A reasonable person should have doubt about Ms. Folbigg killing her four children," the petition reads. "Deciding otherwise rejects medical science and the law that sets the standard of proof."

"Ms. Folbigg has suffered and continues to suffer emotional and psychological trauma and physical abuse in custody," the petitioners write. "She has endured the death of her four children and has been wrongfully incarcerated because the justice system has failed her."

The application for a pardon will be decided by the Governor of New South Wales. A lawyer for Folbigg did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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