We are currently in the process of updating this website. There are some new pages that are in development detailing new evidence uncovered over the past year. We are also planning to release new legal arguments which will be filed with the courts soon. Finally, we will be elaborating on the information published in February 2016 issue of Boston Magazine. Please stay tuned. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!
“I do not think that you can get a fair child abuse trial before a jury anywhere in the country…I do not care how sophisticated or law smart jurors are, when they hear that a child has been abused, a piece of their mind closes up, and this goes for the judge, the jurors, and all of us.”
– Abner Mivka, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit 1990
We are the supporters of Brian Peixoto, an innocent man wrongly convicted of a horrific crime nearly 21 years ago. Brian was convicted of murdering a 3-year old child, a crime that he did not commit.
In 1996, Brian Peixoto was arrested and charged with the murder of 3-year old Christopher Affonso, Jr. After a five-day trial and two-hour deliberation, a jury found Brian guilty of first degree murder and sentenced him to spend the rest of his natural life in prison.
In addition to Brian’s family, friends and loved ones, Brian is supported by top criminal trial lawyer Jennifer Fitzgerald. Jen comes to us with twelve years experience as a public defender and a passion to fight wrongful convictions. She is working Brian’s case pro bono.
Brian also has the support of the CPCS Innocence Program – a Massachusetts program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice to represent innocent people. Collaboration efforts have also been offered by the New England Innocence Project NEIP ; top wrongful conviction attorney specializing in SBS/AHT cases, Heather Kirkwood; and SBS litigation fellow, Kate Judson , of the Wisconsin Innocence Project.
Also supporting Brian are four nationally and internationally recognized medical experts, well respected in the evolving field of misdiagnosed child abuse and head trauma:
- Dr. Waney Squier: Pediatric neuropathologist and consultant neuropathologist to the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals and Honorary Clinical lecturer in the University of Oxford.
- Dr. Michael Laposata: Pathologist-in-Chief at Vanderbilt University Medical Hospital, formerly the Director of Clinical Laboratories at the Massachusetts General Hospital and tenured full Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School.
- Dr. Zhongxue Hua: Forensic pathologist and neuropathological consultant; assistant clinical professor of pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY; and attending neuropathology and assistant laboratory director at Jacobi Medical Center and North Central Bronx Hospital, NY.
- Dr. Chris Van Ee: Biomechanical and biomedical engineer; principal engineer at Design Research Engineering; and adjunct assistance professor, biomechanical engineering at Wayne State University, MI.
According to these well respected medical professionals, the state’s Medical Examiner got it wrong and that to a degree of medical certainty Christopher sustained a skull fracture and other injuries in a stairway fall, ten days before his death – a fall that happened when Brian was not present and the child was in the sole care of his mother.
Following the highly publicized Louise Woodward trial (the “British Nanny” case) in 1997, questions arose in the pediatric forensic community. The old school of thought regarding short distance falls and pediatric head injury were challenged. Over the following decade, widely accepted beliefs in the field of pediatric head trauma were rejected and dismissed as unreliable. As a result, across the US, and in Canada and the UK, cases involving children and short distance falls were being reexamined. The new science, including changes in biomechanics of pediatric head trauma, rocked the forensic community, shedding light on many mistaken diagnoses, including that from Brian’s case. It became evident that parents and caregivers were being wrongly accused of child abuse.
Until recently Brian’s legal team has continuously been prevented from presenting this new evidence to the courts because of Massachusetts laws created to prevent the waste of limited judicial resources; because of a federal anti-terrorism law; and because of restrictions placed on federal appeals. Thus, as a result of technicalities in the law, Brian remains in prison – an innocent man.
Consequently, this website was created to shed light on Brian’s case and to point out the facts – facts taken directly from court documents, police statements, and medical reports, including some of our own opinions and thoughts. We want to point out that Brian was convicted without one piece of evidence showing that Brian ever hit Christopher or ever hurt him in any way. Also included is the new medical evidence and diagnoses, witness statements that were never made available to the jury and evidence that was hidden and not provided to the defense. Our hope is that more medical experts will come forward willing to assist us – more lawyers and investigators who may be familiar with these types of cases. Our hope is that anyone willing to help will reach out to help us in our struggle – our long and difficult struggle for innocence.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION WHICH MAY BE OF ASSISTANCE TO THIS CASE, PLEASE SEND A CONFIDENTIAL EMAIL TO INFO@BRIANPEIXOTO.COM brianpeixoto.com, struggle for innocence