Senate GOP introduces “Protect Our Children Act”

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Following the brutal murder of a 8-year-old Brooklyn boy and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial, Senate Republicans introduced a bill today that would create a new crime punishing people who kill a child with life behind bars.

The bill, introduced by a handful of Senate Republicans including Sens. Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Greg Ball of Patterson, Putnam County, would enact more than two dozen new provisions or crimes, including new felony charges for hiding a child’s death or not reporting to police when one goes missing.

Ball, who had been pushing for a previous version of “Caylee’s Law,” had the most aggressive of the half-dozen quotes included in a press release announcing the new bill, saying that it’s “unthinkable that Casey Anthony would get off with anything less than the death penalty.”

Anthony was acquitted in a murder trial following the mysterious death of her young daughter in a case that attracted an enormous amount of national media attention.

“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,” Ball said in the statement.

Courtesy of the Senate GOP, the bill would enact the following, among other provisions:

> 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 failing to notify law enforcement when the
whereabouts of a young child is unknown for more than 24 hours;

> Create new felony offenses for obstructing the location of a
missing child;

> 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; and

> Increase penalties for repeat child abusers.

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