The Iowa Supreme Court says a Humboldt woman should not get compensation for wrongful imprisonment after her child endangerment conviction was overturned. Tammy Smith was convicted of child endangerment resulting in serious injury by a jury in 2007 after her four-year-old son’s arm was injured. The child was developmentally disabled and could not talk about how the injury happened.
Smith claimed the boy stuck his arm in the washing machine while playing in the basement, but there were inconsistencies in her story, and a medical expert testified the injury likely did not happen the way she described it. Smith’s son was able to talk about the injury in 2009. There were some questions about whether the father had coached the boy on what to say. The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial, the district court vacated Smith’s conviction and the county attorney asked that the case be dismissed.
Smith then said she was wrongfully imprisoned. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the district court’s ruling that Smith should not be compensated for wrongful imprisonment. The court says Smith did not establish clear and convincing evidence during her trial that neither she or anyone else caused the injury to her son.
Read the full ruling here: Smith ruling PDF