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New Laws: Adam's Law Gives Child Abusers Harsher Sentences



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, January 03, 2011

About six years ago, Adam Carbajal celebrated his one year birthday party at a Chuck-E-Cheese. The next day his mother's boyfriend shook him so violently his injuries left him with a less than five percent chance of survival.

"It was like a kick in the stomach and shock."

Maria Alvarez-Garcia is Adam's grandmother.

"It was just unbelievable, like wait a minute he was fine the day before at Chucky Cheese to celebrate his first birthday. He was walking and crawling, he was baby talking, and now he's on his death bed. We couldn't comprehend that."

Adam survived, but is paralyzed on the right side. He can't walk, and is severely brain damaged. His abuser got 10 years in prison, with a chance at parole. Alvarez-Garcia says that's not enough. Starting this year, because of Adam's Law, abusers who inflict permanent damage on children younger than 8 years old can get up to a life sentence.

The biggest complaint about Adam's Law is that it will put more people behind bars in California, where prisons are already overcrowded. Former Assemblyman Mike Villines wrote this law.

"Yes, this will put more people in prison, there's no doubt about it. Will it be 200 people more or 100 people more? I'd love it if it was none, if none of these people were doing this to children."

Villines says such abusers would be sent to prison anyway, they're just going to stay longer now.
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