Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wrongfully accused mothers call on Gov. Quinn to pardon former day care provider; review DCFS policies

WHAT: The Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois Springfield, and three mothers wrongfully accused of child abuse will call on Gov. Pat Quinn to grant clemency to former DuPage County daycare provider Pamela Jacobazzi and implement a review of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) policies and procedures with respect to child abuse investigations.

WHEN: Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Illinois State Capitol - Lincoln statue (located on the east side of the Illinois State Capitol grounds at the intersection of 2nd St. & Capitol Ave.)

DETAILS: Pamela Jacobazzi was convicted in DuPage County in 1999 of first degree murder of a 10-month-old child involving a controversial medical diagnosis called shaken baby syndrome. In 2010, the appellate court ordered a new hearing in Jacobazzi’s case because pediatric records had not been presented to the jury which indicate that the child suffered from several illnesses in the weeks leading up to the child’s hospitalization with bleeding of the brain.

Jacobazzi’s clemency petition was filed more than seven years ago, by her attorney Anthony Sassan. The Prisoner Review Board made a confidential recommendation to then Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Gov. Quinn inherited a backlog of clemency petitions since taking office in 2009.

At the press conference wrongful accused mothers, Laura Nimke of Streator, Nichole Crister of Galesburg, and Michelle Weidner of Peoria will discuss their cases involving the misdiagnosis of shaken baby syndrome. They will call upon DCFS to adopt rules requiring a more thorough review of pediatric and medical records before making a finding of child abuse.

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