A petition to the New South Wales state governor in March last year calling for Folbigg to be pardoned “based on significant positive evidence of natural causes of death” was signed by 90 scientists, medical practitioners and related professionals, including two Nobel laureates.

An Australian state attorney general on Wednesday declined to pardon a mother convicted almost 20 years ago of smothering her four children to death and instead ordered a new inquiry into whether there could be a medical explanation for the tragedies, AP reports.

The inquiry will be the second in three years into scientific evidence that all four of Kathleen Folbigg’s children may have died of natural causes.

A growing number of scientists say Folbigg, now 54, could be the victim of a tragic miscarriage of justice.

The schism between legal and scientific opinion has grown with advancements in genetic research since 2003, when Folbigg was convicted on three charges of murder and one of manslaughter.

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