Time to strengthen abuse laws

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 05:35 AM

We all value the protection of our children.

As parents, there is the daily worry about whether or not your child is completely safe.

Presently, in North Carolina, the maximum penalty for those convicted of felony child abuse is 15 years in jail.

But, a mother is looking to change that law.

On Thursday, Kirbi Davenport of Concord addressed a recent North Carolina House proposal that would give even longer prison sentences to those convicted of child abuse.

The story surrounds Davenport's daughter Kilah who, when she was 3 years old last May when she was severely beaten and came close to death in Union County, according to a story from the Associated Press.

Her stepfather is awaiting trial after being charged with felony child abuse.

It's a sad story and one that is more common that most would care to admit.

The new proposal, aptly called "Kilah's Law" would make the maximum penalty for a felony child abuse conviction closer to 33 years. It also goes a step further to allow a judge to state that a child was the victim on the offender's record.

We believe that the new bill is a just measure that requires immediate action by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Those who choose to commit these kinds of unspeakable acts against children do not deserve leniency, nor do they deserve compassion from the judicial system.

These individuals made a conscious choice to do harm to the most innocent of us ... a child. That, in and of itself, is an unforgivable act and those convicted should be held accountable for their actions.

There are no other "special" circumstances that warrant the excuse for abusing anyone, let alone a child.

It is for that reason that we do agree with the provisions of "Kilah's Law" and strongly urge the General Assembly to take swift and just action in passing this law and sending it to the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory.

We find no reasoning for not creating punishment that fits the crime of felony child abuse.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark