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Legislation against domestic violence protects Pennsylvania kids

In light of the of unbecoming news the NFL has provided us with over the past two weeks, I thought I’d recall a state bill that was recently passed in Harrisburg. The bill has changed the way that unreported child deaths are handled. The initiative is designed to protect children from traumatic domestic violence by creating more severe consequences for people who conceal the death of a child. In the past, the state laws regarding the reporting of a child’s death apply only to parents. However, the new measure would expand the regulations to include people who are responsible for the child’s welfare, and even those who simply live in the same house. Lawmakers say the change in the maximum prison sentence for this violation would motivate others to be more outspoken about domestic violence problems affecting kids. Changes to the law increase the maximum prison sentence for failing to report the death of a child from five years to seven years. The change alters the severity of the crime from a third-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor. Similar measures have been signed throughout the nation in the aftermath of the Caylee Anthony murder case, in which the child’s mother failed to report her missing for an extended period of time. That mother was acquitted in the murder trial, but she was found guilty of obstructing the police investigation into the matter. In the past, people who failed to tell police officers about domestic violence could have been prosecuted under other family violence codes, but the new measure is more likely to provide targeted consequences for those who fail to reveal this information. Prosecutors throughout even the rural districts in Pennsylvania say they are seeing an increase in alleged abuse and neglect cases against children, so the measure provides a welcome change.

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