Taking your child to the Emergency Room? Bring your lawyer. Families are being torn apart by unfounded accusations of Shaken Baby Syndrome, a.k.a. Abusive Head Trauma. Join Torn Family in the fight to end these injustices.
When Josh and Brenda Burns’ daughter Naomi became severely ill, they brought her to the emergency room. They wish they had also brought their lawyer. A University of Michigan child abuse doctor claimed Naomi had been violently shaken. This doctor diagnosed Naomi with Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), a theory based on what is now considered faulty science.Other Doctors would later explain that Naomi’s illness was due to her traumatic birth. The U of M doctor nevertheless gave key testimony that resulted in Josh being convicted of child abuse he did not commit.
Torn Family Trust was founded by Burns’ friends and family after they witnessed the damage that junk science can inflict on innocent people. The Burns family continues to seek exoneration, and theirs is not an isolated case. Many others are still in prison, some even facing the death penalty. Families continue to be torn apart by false allegations of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Torn Family Trust seeks to educate the public and to lobby for legislative changes to reform the processes that are responsible for these injustices.
Torn Family Trustees:
Jeremy Praay graduated from Central Michigan University in 1991 with a BS in Computer Science.
He first became interested in SBS in 2003, after reading about the case of Tonia Miller. In 2011, he became actively involved in her case, before handing it off to the Michigan Innocence Clinic in 2014 in their joint effort with The Medill Justice Project.
Matt Eckman is a lifelong resident of Livingston County. Self-employed since 1988, Matt has been involved in the local business community for 29 years. His interests include technology, volunteering for hospice assignments, and social justice activism.
Dr. Douglas Smith is a retired Professor of Pathology from the University of Michigan. He has been working with the Michigan Innocence Clinic and other defense teams since 2014 on cases of alleged shaken baby syndrome. He grew up in Iowa but has lived in Ann Arbor since 2006. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota (first loyalty to the Hawkeyes). He runs the website Washtenaw Watchdogs.
Hannah Eckman is a graduate of the University of Michigan Flint with a degree in graphic design. She is employed in the Traffic department at Comcast Spotlight. She has been maintaining the Torn Family website since its inception.
When they brought their sick daughter to the hospital, the last thing the Burns expected was to be accused of abuse.
The Burns family is not alone. Doctors and CPS are ignoring the flaws in the science and tearing families apart.
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