Sally Clark

English woman falsely convicted of murder / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sally Clark (August 1964 – 15 March 2007)[1] was an English solicitor who, in November 1999, became the victim of a miscarriage of justice when she was found guilty of the murder of her two infant sons. Clark's first son died in December 1996 within a few weeks of his birth, and her second son died in similar circumstances in January 1998. A month later, Clark was arrested and tried for both deaths. The defence argued that the children had died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The prosecution case relied on flawed statistical evidence presented by paediatrician Professor Sir Roy Meadow, who testified that the chance of two children from an affluent family suffering SIDS was 1 in 73 million. He had arrived at this figure by squaring his estimate of a chance of 1 in 8500 of an individual SIDS death in similar circumstances. The Royal Statistical Society later issued a statement arguing that there was no statistical basis for Meadow's claim, and expressed concern at the "misuse of statistics in the courts".[3]

Quick facts: Sally Clark, Born, Died, Nationality, Citizen...
Sally Clark
Sally Lockyer

August 1964[1]
Devizes, England[1]
Died15 March 2007(2007-03-15) (aged 42)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Known forWrongly convicted of killing her sons

Clark was convicted in November 1999. The convictions were upheld on appeal in October 2000, but overturned in a second appeal in January 2003, after it emerged that Alan Williams, the prosecution forensic pathologist who examined both babies, had failed to disclose microbiological reports that suggested the second of her sons had died of natural causes.[4] Clark was released from prison having served more than three years of her sentence. Journalist Geoffrey Wansell called Clark's experience "one of the great miscarriages of justice in modern British legal history".[5] As a result of her case, the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith ordered a review of hundreds of other cases, and two other women had their convictions overturned. Clark's experience caused her to develop severe psychiatric problems and she died in her home in March 2007 from alcohol poisoning.[2]