Clark v. MississippiAnnotate this Case
Following the death of his four-month-old daughter and his subsequent indictment for murder, Joshua Clark was convicted of depraved-heart murder. The prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Dr. Karen Lakin, a pediatrician who opined that the daughter's death resulted from Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) (now referred to as Abusive Head Trauma (AHT)). The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded Clark’s conviction after finding that crucial parts of Dr. Lakin’s testimony were unreliable and therefore inadmissible. The Mississippi Supreme Court disagreed with the conclusion of the Court of Appeals that Dr. Lakin’s opinion testimony was inadequately supported to meet the reliability prong of the Daubert standard and was thus improperly admitted. Instead, the Court found the circuit court did not err by admitting Dr. Lakin’s testimony. Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Appeals was reversed, and the judgment of the trial court was reinstated and affirmed. Furthermore, the Supreme Court found Clark’s six additional assignments of error not previously addressed by the Court of Appeals were without merit.