U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger to Unveil Legislation Backing Steeper Child Abuse Penalties, Inspired by ‘Kilah’s Law”

From The Charlotte Observer, March 28, 2013

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger is expected to announce federal legislation Thursday to increase penalties for people convicted of child abuse.
The proposal – which will be called the “Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act of 2013” – is named for a Union County toddler who police say was severely beaten by her step-father last summer. Kilah was hospitalized with severe brain damage and a fractured skull, and doctors have said she’ll likely have the mind of a 3-year-old for the rest of her life.
Pittenger will announce the new legislation at a press conference set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Crossing Paths Park in Indian Trail. Members of the Davenport family and grassroots activists also are expected to attend, according to Pittenger’s office.
“Children are precious, but in too many states, the punishment for severe child abuse is shockingly mild, almost a slap on the wrist in some states,” Pittenger said in a news release. “The punishment needs to fit the crime.”
The federal legislation comes as N.C. lawmakers are considering a state bill that would also increase penalties for five child abuse-related felonies. Currently, in the worst cases of abuse, an offender could serve up to 15 years in prison. But the proposed state bill would increase that to a maximum of nearly 33 years.
The state bill has cleared the N.C. House, but the Senate referred it to its appropriations committee in two weeks ago because of reported concerns about finding $800,000 to implement the tougher penalties.

Published in: on March 28, 2013 at 11:31 am  Comments (1)  

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