Mo. House backs stiffer penalties for baby deaths

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House.

The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri’s child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby’s death or injury by shaking.

Sponsor Jeanie Riddle, a Republican from Mokane (moh-KAYN’), says current law makes it difficult to prosecute people when a child dies from “shaken baby syndrome.”

Her legislation would make it a crime to recklessly cause head injuries to any child.

A person who commits child abuse in Missouri currently faces up to seven years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Under Riddle’s legislation, anyone who commits child abuse on a child under the age of 2 would face five to 15 years in prison.

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Shaken baby bill is HB1317

Online:

Legislature: http://moga.mo.gov

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