FRONTLINE: The Child Cases
Airs Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 at 10 p.m. & Friday, Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, June 24, 2011
When a child dies under suspicious circumstances, abuse is often suspected. That’s what happened in the case of six-month-old Isis Vas, whose death was deemed “a clear-cut and classic” case of child abuse, sending a man named Ernie Lopez to prison for 60 years. After FRONTLINE's broadcast last year, a Texas judge has moved to overturn Lopez’s conviction, and new questions are being asked about the quality of expert testimony in this and many other similar cases.
If It's Not Abuse…
Get a closer look at some of the diseases and disorders that can look like child abuse.
In this joint investigation with ProPublica and NPR, FRONTLINE correspondent A.C. Thompson unearths more than 20 child death cases in which people were jailed on medical evidence—involving abuse, assault, and “shaken baby syndrome”—that was later found unreliable or flat-out wrong. Are death investigators being properly trained for child cases?
Also in this episode, correspondent Martin Smith ("College Inc.") continues to investigate for-profit colleges, this time focusing on their aggressive recruitment of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Are the for-profits making promises that they can’t keep?