In THE SYNDROME, filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith teams with national award-winning investigative journalist Susan Goldsmith to expose the unimaginable nightmare for those falsely accused of “shaken baby syndrome.” A child abuse theory responsible for hundreds of prosecutions each year in the U.S., this documentary focuses on the men and women dedicating their lives to defending the prosecuted and freeing the convicted. THE SYNDROME examines how the myth of “shaken baby syndrome” began, and unflinchingly exposes the people who have built careers on, and profited from, this unsubstantiated theory that has led to the convictions of too many innocent people, and ruined the lives of countless others.
The filmmakers have found that for nearly two decades, prosecutors have gone after caretakers and parents for allegedly violently shaking babies in their care and injuring or killing children. They've relied on doctors who’ve made the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma based on symptoms of bleeding and swelling in a child’s brain and eyes. But a huge and growing body of research shows that once was once considered shaken baby syndrome can be caused of dozens of disorders and problems; none of which are abuse. In recent years, more than 20 people have had their shaken baby syndrome convictions thrown out by courts across the country.