In 2003, Kathleen Folbigg was convicted of killing her four children over a period of 10 years. Despite natural causes of death given for Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura Folbigg, Ms Folbigg was convicted of smothering them to death. The basis for her convictions were the journals she wrote in during the 10-year period; they were used as evidence to suggest she admitted to killing her children. Ms Folbigg has been unsuccessful in overturning her convictions and has served 18 years in prison. In combination with leading forensic pathologists concluding natural causes of death for each of the children, new genetics evidence shows the infants had genetic defects that can explain further how they died. For the first time, Ms Folbigg’s journals are now being examined by experts who consider them to be unremarkable and contrary to the way in which they have been interpreted by the law to date.
There was reasonable doubt at the time of the conviction, now there is expert evidence that disproves murder. It is time the conviction is overturned and she is freed.
Fourteen months after the request for a pardon was presented, the Governor of NSW, the Hon Margaret Beazley, has announced that a second inquiry would be held into the conviction of Kathleen Folbigg. This recommendation was made by the Attorney General, Mark Speakman who announced the inquiry yesterday in a
The way in which criminal cases involving potential injustice are dealt with in NSW is flawed and lead to serious problems – Kathleen Folbigg is an example of the systemic failure. An alternative approach is offered in this lecture.
Request to the NSW State Coroner for a Coronial Inquest into the Deaths of Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura Folbigg
A copy of the request to the NSW State Coroner to open a Coronial inquest into the deaths of Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura Folbigg.
The Australian Academy of Science issues a press release on March 5, 2022. You can see the original here. https://vimeo.com/518533234 “Respect the scientific and medical evidence that provide ample justification for the pardon of Kathleen Folbigg and demonstrate that you take seriously your responsibility to provide justice to the
The most important requirement in all criminal trials is that the onus of establishing guilt is to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt. This standard of proof stays immovably with the prosecution throughout a trial. In Kathleen Folbigg’s case an essential element that needed to be proved beyond reasonable doubt was that she intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to her children.
The prosecution said that she smothered them, but failed to prove this was the case.