Wrongly Convicted Database Record


Sally Clark





Life Imprisonment

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U.S. State or Country of Crime:

United Kingdom

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Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Sally Clark was wrongly convicted in 1999 of killing two of her young children 13 months apart. Clark and her husband were solicitors. Her convictions were based on the testimony of a medical "expert" that it is virtually impossible that two babies in one family would die of natural causes, and on the perjured testimony of the government's forensic scientist that she smothered the children. The first baby, Christopher, died at 11 weeks of age in Dec. 1996, and the second child, Harry, died at 8 weeks of age in Jan. 1998. In 2002 it was discovered that the prosecution concealed a medical report that indicated there is identifiable physical evidence the second child died of natural causes, and it was the concealment of that report that led to the death of the first child being changed from natural causes to smothering, and the death of the second child being attributed first to shaking, and then to smothering. It was learned by Sally Clark's husband, Stephen, after the trial that at least 50 families in the United Kingdom every year suffer the death of a second child after the previous death of a child, and Manchester University researchers discovered in 2001 that there is a "crib death" gene (SIDS). A common denominator in both of the deaths is they both occurred shortly after the babies received vaccinations. The Criminal Case Review Commission referred Clark's case to the Court of Appeals on July 2, 2002. Clark's convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeals on January 29, 2003 because the prosecution had concealed vital evidence indicating her children had died of natural causes (a report based on test results ordered by the prosecution's government employed forensic scientist). She was ordered immediately released from prison. After her release, her first statement to the press was: "Today is not a victory. There are no winners here. We have all lost out. We simply feel relief that our nightmare is finally at an end." The prosecution declined to retry her, which was to be expected given they had orchestrated concealment of the evidence used to establish her innocence. Sally Clark died of an apparent heart attack on March 16, 2007, at the age of 42."

Conviction Caused By:

"False scientific testimony by the prosecutions medical "expert," and prosecutorial misconduct of concealing evidence of Salley Clark's innocence based on pre-trial test results by a prosecution employed doctor that indicated her children died of natural causes ."

Innocence Proved By:

"Court of Appeals reversed her conviction on January 29, 2003 because it was unsafe due to the concealment by the prosecution of vital evidence indicating Sally Clark's children died of natural causes. The prosecution declined to retry her."

Defendant Aided By:

"Criminal Case Review Commission and John Batt who was the lead attorney in Sally Clark's appeal, and the author of the book about her case, "Stolen Innocence.""

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Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Information Source 1:

Sally Clark Webpage

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Webpage with address

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Information Source 3:

"Clark case 'gives hope to other jailed mothers,' The Guardian, London UK, January 31, 2003"

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Information Source 4:

"Freed after being wrongfully convicted of killing her babies, she just wants to rebuild her family life, Cole Moreton, The Independent, February 2, 2003"

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Information Source 5:

"Recent Case Statatistics, Criminal Cases Review Commission"

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Book About Case:

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org