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Authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies: after 20 years in jail

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Authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies: after 20 years in jail

Authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies: after 20 years in jail

Authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies: after 20 years in jail:After spending 20 years in jail, authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies.

During a news conference on Monday, New South Wales Attorney General Michael Daley announced the unconditional pardon and imminent release of Kathleen Folbigg, an Australian mother who had been convicted of killing her four babies. After spending 20 years in jail, the decision was made based on the preliminary findings of a review that raised “reasonable doubt” regarding her guilt in all four deaths.

In the news conference, Daley stated, “I find reasonable doubt regarding Ms. Folbigg’s guilt for the manslaughter of her child Caleb, the infliction of grievous bodily harm on her child Patrick, and the murder of her children Patrick, Sarah, and Laura.” Daley further expressed his conclusion that there is reasonable doubt regarding Ms. Folbigg’s guilt for those offenses.

Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Thomas Bathurst, conducted the review. Back in 2003, 55-year-old Folbigg was convicted of smothering her children – Caleb, Patrick, Sarah, and Laura – all before they reached the age of two. Reportedly, she discovered each of them lifeless in their cribs, one after another. The court initially sentenced her to 40 years in prison for murder and manslaughter, with a non-parole period of 30 years. However, this sentence was later reduced to 25 years following an appeal.

The four children, aged between 19 days and 19 months old, tragically passed away individually from 1989 to 1999. Daley expressed, “This 20-year-old matter has been an extremely distressing experience for everyone involved, and I trust that our current actions can provide some sense of closure.” He further mentioned that Craig Folbigg, the babies’ father, had been notified of the decision as well. “I am also considering him today. It will undoubtedly be a challenging day for him,” Daley added.

Following the decision, Daley verified that instructions had been given to Clarence Correctional Centre, where Folbigg was incarcerated, to take care of her. He emphasized the importance of empathizing with Folbigg’s situation and allowing her the necessary space to move forward with her life without harassment or pursuit. Daley acknowledged the enduring nature of the 20-year ordeal she had faced and expressed his well wishes for the remainder of her life, stating that if she was not already released, she would be soon.

During the news conference, Daley confirmed that Folbigg’s convictions had not been overturned and clarified that only the Court of Criminal Appeal possesses the authority to do so. He explained that the effect of the pardon is that Folbigg will be exempt from serving the remaining duration of her sentence. In 2021, a petition was submitted by a group of 90 scientists advocating for Folbigg’s pardon, asserting that her case was a “miscarriage of justice.”

The scientists contended that there is a lack of medical evidence supporting the prosecution’s claim that Folbigg smothered each of her children. Instead, they suggested the possibility that the babies may have died due to genetic factors. According to the petition, geneticists discovered in 2018 that both Sarah and Laura had a genetic mutation in the CALM2 gene, which can lead to sudden death in infants and children.

At the time, pediatric geneticist Jozef Gecz informed the Associated Press that scientists were actively investigating potential strong genetic connections to the deaths of the boys.

According to the AP, an autopsy conducted after 8-month-old Patrick’s demise revealed that he had epilepsy. His cause of death was determined to be airway obstruction resulting from a seizure and infection.

Caleb’s passing, which occurred when he was just 19 days old, was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome.

The scientists emphasized in the petition that Folbigg’s conviction was partially based on the discredited theory known as “Meadow’s Law.” This theory assumes that the occurrence of more than two children from the same family dying due to genetic causes is highly improbable and suggests foul play instead.

Authorities pardoned a mother who had been convicted of killing her 4 babies: after 20 years in jail

However, Gecz, who specializes in working with children suffering from rare and fatal disabilities and was among the 90 experts who signed the petition, clarified that this theory no longer holds scientific support.

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