Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Adam's Law Passes the Assembly

Love Mike Villines or hate, at least he is trying to work for us.

Assembly Bill 1987 was introduced by Assemblyman Villines in response to the case of a young Fresno resident, Adam Carbajal, who as a toddler was the victim of a devastating attack at the hands of a family friend. Adam suffered permanent brain damage and is completely paralyzed on his right side, leaving him unable to walk or say more than a few words.

A deficiency in state law resulted in Adam’s attacker only being charged with 2 counts of willful cruelty to a child under the age of five and corporal injury to a child. Current law does not take into consideration the end result of an incident of child abuse when determining the sentence. The punishment is the same whether the child suffers brain damage or a broken arm.

Adam’s Law will change the law by raising the sentencing standards for anyone who abuses a child under the age of 8 and causes permanent injury or disability to the child. The increased punishment will carry a 15 year-to-life sentence. This new penalty will be less than the punishment for an assault that results in the death of a child, but more than the punishment for the crime of felony child abuse that results in non-permanent injury.

I am hoping that this will this bill will pass the Senate next. When I am so discouraged by the games and mean campaigns I find it encouraging that someone is actually trying to get something done. I believe the lack of penalty in child abuse cases always shocks us as a society and as individuals. So why has it taken so long for someone to actually suggest doing something about it?

No comments: