News Crime Renewed push to pardon Kathleen Folbigg

Renewed push to pardon Kathleen Folbigg

kathleen folbigg
Eminent scientists are again pushing for the release of convicted child killer Kathleen Folbigg. Photo: AAP
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Leading Australian scientists are lobbying the NSW attorney-general to recommend a pardon for Kathleen Folbigg, who has spent almost 18 years in jail after being convicted of killing four of her babies.

The renewed call for her release comes almost six months after 90 eminent scientists submitted a petition to NSW Governor Margaret Beazley, who’s waiting for advice from Mark Speakman.

In April, the Australian Academy of Science offered to brief Mr Speakman on new genetic evidence.

Mr Speakman requested the new evidence be submitted via Ms Folbigg’s legal representatives, which occurred in June.

The evidence includes new peer-reviewed genetic findings by an international team of 27 scientists published in a top international cardiology journal, Europace, in November 2020.

It showed two of Ms Folbigg’s children had genetic mutations that predisposed them to sudden death in childhood from lethal heart arrhythmias.

Forensic pathologists had declared natural causes of death for the other two children.

Australian Academy of Science President Professor John Shine is among the petition signatories and said there was reasonable doubt about Folbigg’s conviction.

“The NSW attorney-general now has sufficient medical and scientific evidence before him that provides an alternative explanation for the deaths of the Folbigg children, that carries more weight than the circumstantial evidence used to convict her,” Professor Shine said.

“We urge the NSW attorney-general to expedite this matter and advise the NSW governor to pardon Kathleen Folbigg and release her from jail.”

Mr Speakman has been contacted for comment.