Rep. Conrad James
SANTA FE — Rep. Conrad James, R-Bernallio County announced today that he plans to file legislation that will toughen penalties for convicted child abusers and those whose abuse contributes to the death of a child.
“We should always fight to protect our children and hold those who harm them accountable for their heinous actions,” James said. “When we toughen child abuse laws, especially abuse that kills a child, we send a strong message that harming our children will not be tolerated.”
Currently, those who intentionally beat a child to death face life in prison only if the victim was under the age of 12. This is called Baby Brianna’s Law, named after Brianna Lopez who was raped and killed by members of her own family.
Under James’ bill, those who intentionally harm a child leading to the child’s death would face life in prison no matter the child’s age.
The bill will also toughen penalties for child abusers, increasing the penalty for the first offense from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. After the first offense, it would increase from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony.
“The lives of our kids are important, and our laws should reflect that,” James said.