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Jesse Harvey

Convicted of recklessly causing serious injury. 8 year prison sentence.

Did he violently shake his 7-week old baby son Casey?


The Crime

Harvey was convicted of shaking his baby son Casey, causing serious brain injuries.

The Evidence

No witness.

No external injuries indicative of violence or abuse.

Another baby with a long medical history, dating back to birth complications, requiring resuscitation at birth and time in intensive care.  

Ongoing problems resulted in a three day stay in hospital, when baby Casey was diagnosed as having meningitis. He was released from hospital and a few days later had further symptoms, with Jesse rushing him to hospital in a taxi.  

Like in the Joby Rowe and Jesse Vinaccia cases, doctors testified that the brain injuries suffered by baby Casey could only have been caused by shaking. As Harvey was the last person taking care of him, they automatically concluded that he must have shaken him.

The Problem with the Conviction: there is NO science linking those brain injuries to shaking. The link between specific brain injuries and shaking is an unsubstantiated belief that is common amongst a section of the medical community. 


I published a peer reviewed article Is there an evidentiary basis for shaken baby syndrome? The case of Joby Rowe in the Australian Journal of Forensic Science. The same issues riddle the case against Jesse Harvey.

My paper points to the total lack of any scientific or evidentiary basis for linking the brain injuries suffered by babies such as Casey to shaking, or to any form of abuse.  

Incredibly, the mother of Casey also has an acquired brain injury which supposedly was inflicted by her own mother, who was accused of shaking her but has always denied this. Could it really be a coincidence that Casey and his mother were both shaken as infants? Or is there a genetic cause of their similar brain injuries? Multiple genetic conditions are known to cause these types of brain injuries. 

Again I ask, should we be convicting people on the basis of unsubstantiated beliefs? 

Follow the science...

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