A new public inquiry into the conviction of Kathleen Folbigg is to be held in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Folbigg was convicted in 2003 and is serving a 25-year sentence for the murder of three of her children, Sarah, Patrick, and Laura, and manslaughter of a fourth, Caleb. Australia's ABC News previously reported that the children's deaths were initially thought to be sudden infant death syndrome, until Laura's death, which led to a murder investigation.
But new data has suggested possible genetic causes for the children's deaths. Two of the children, Sarah and Laura, as well as Folbigg herself harbor a gene variant in CALM2 that has been linked to cardiac arrhythmias. Additionally, while Patrick and Caleb did not have that variant, they did have other rare variants associated with lethal epileptic seizures, according to the New York Times.
Last year, about 90 doctors and scientists petitioned the governor of New South Wales to pardon and release Folbigg as these variants increased the children's risk of sudden death and suggests the deaths may have been due to natural causes, as the Herald reported then.
The NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman says he recommended to the governor that a new inquiry be opened, the Herald now reports. "This, this is a tragedy anyway, you look at it. Whatever the outcome of the inquiry, it is a tragedy. But it's clear that, in the interest of justice, there has to be a further public inquiry that is open, transparent, fair, and efficient," Speakman says, according to the Herald.