Senator Ball Introduces Bill in Response to Death of Florida Toddler
Brewster, N.Y. – (07/20/11) – In the wake of controversial acquittal that shocked the nation, and left many wondering if Casey Anthony got away with murder, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) today introduced legislation that would make sweeping changes to the state’s child protection laws to help protect children from cruel and repeated abuse. The Protect Our Children Act (A8540) would create the new crime of aggravated murder of a child with a sentence of life without parole.
“We are all shocked and saddened by the outcome of this trial,” said Senator Greg Ball. “And while I have the utmost respect for our justice system and the right to due process, it’s unthinkable that Casey Anthony would get off with anything less than the death penalty. The outcome made most people shake their heads with disbelief and disgust, knowing that some wait on death row having been rightfully convicted with much less evidence. To think she knew of her daughter’s death and never told police, while having enough time to party the night away, lie to authorities and frequent tattoo parlors, is enough to make any caring person sick,” added Ball.
The Protect Our Children Act includes the following provisions:
- Expand an existing law for aggravated abuse of a child for a someone who recklessly causes physical injury to a child under the age of 14. The law currently applies only to day care providers, but this bill would expand it to also apply to parents, guardians or a person in a position of trust.
- Create new felony offenses for obstructing the location of a missing child.
- Create a new felony for concealing the death of a child. A death of a child is profoundly tragic, and the concealment of such not only could interfere with the prosecution of the one responsible for the death by loss of evidence, but could also prolong the agony of the family as they search for their loved one with misplaced hope.
- Create a new felony for failure to notify law enforcement of a missing child within 24 hours.
- Create a felony child endangering statute to protect children from especially cruel and sadistic conduct. Under current law, unless physical injury results, the infliction on children of sadistic, painful, dangerous punishments can typically be charged only as misdemeanors.
- Create a statute to protect children from serious reckless abuse. To the extent existing laws address reckless conduct, they minimize the seriousness by treating it as a low level offense or often include the requirement that the conduct be “depraved,” an element that New York courts have in recent years interpreted in a way that is extremely difficult to prove.
- Increase penalties for repeat child abusers.
The bill is sponsored by Senators Mark Grisanti (R, North Buffalo), Stephen Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), Andrew Lanza (R-I, Staten Island) and Charles Fuschillo (R, Merrick).
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Ali Skinner: (845) 200-9716.