An Australian mother jailed 20 years is pardoned and freed because of new evidence

Australian mother Kathleen Folbigg is pardoned and released after 20 years in prison due to new scientific evidence in the deaths of her four children.

Driving the news: Folbigg, now 55, was released from prison in New South Wales after being granted an unconditional pardon by Gov. Margaret Beazley based on new evidence.
* Folbigg was serving a 30-year sentence for the manslaughter and murder of her children, who died separately over a decade.

The specifics: New scientific evidence suggests that the children may have died from natural causes, raising doubt about Folbigg’s guilt.
* 2018 evidence showed her daughters carried a rare CALM2 genetic variant that could have led to their sudden deaths.
* For her son Patrick, expert evidence suggested an underlying neurogenetic disorder as a possible cause of his death.

Yes, but: Folbigg’s former husband, Craig Folbigg, still argued that the improbability of four natural child deaths in one family is compelling grounds to treat her diary entries as admissions of guilt.
* However, mental health experts have warned against interpreting the entries as such, citing Folbigg’s major depressive disorder and “maternal grief” at the time.

View original article on NPR

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