Law: Out of the Mouths of Babes

More, and younger, children are climbing onto the witness stand

Eleven-month-old Matthew Cromwell was listless and had vomit in his hair when his mother picked him up in 1981 at the day care center in Clayton, Calif. Eight hours later he was dead of asphyxiation, apparently caused by blows to the stomach. Dozens of other children, their parents later reported, had come home from the same center with large bruises and emotional scars. Arrested for murder and child abuse, the center's operator, Eleanor Nathan, 36, knew that the only eyewitnesses against her were youngsters. Until lately the testimony of little children was...

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