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Mothers suspected of killing their babies might be dealt with outside criminal system

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7437.425-c (Published 19 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:425
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    Mothers suspected of killing their babies could be dealt with outside the criminal justice system rather than prosecuted, suggested the new director of public prosecutions for England and Waleslast week.

    Ken Macdonald floated the idea in the wake of the appeal court judgment in January in the case of Angela Cannings, whose convictions for killing her two baby sons were quashed in December 2003.

    Giving judgment, Lord Justice Judge said that there should not be prosecutions when reputable experts disagreed about the cause of death and there was no other cogent evidence.

    Mr Macdonald said there was an “attraction” in removing such cases from the criminal process …

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