Thursday, 05 July 2012
Guest Post from Elizabeth at www.rockabyeparents.com
Just over two years ago Michigan saw one of it’s worst cases of child abuse. A 4-year-old boy named Dominick Calhoun, who had accidently wet his pants, was beaten and tortured by his mother’s boyfriend for four days until his little body couldn’t take anymore and shut down.
While he was suffering from the hands of one who should have been caring for him (I won’t get into the horrific details) no one came to his rescue. Even as he begged his mother to help no one came to his aide. His own mother was too concerned about outstanding warrants and pot plants to help her baby. Nothing was discovered until his aunt came over to buy some drugs. When she realized what was happening she called Dominick’s grandfather (Rick Calhoun) who rushed over, but he was too late to help his beloved grandson.
Even though Rick Calhoun knew that he couldn’t bring Dominick back he made a promise to Dominick that his death wouldn’t be in vain. That was how Dominick’s Law was created, and now the State of Michigan is about to sign it into law. It will give Michigan the highest levels of punishment for child abusers in the country. The Calhoun family feels that had this law already been in existence then Dominick would still be with them. They aren’t looking into the past now though, but instead are looking forward. They believe that all of their hard work lobbying for the new law will help save other children and that if it saves just one child than it will have been worth it.
Excerpts of the Law
Dominick’s Law will amend a previous child abuse law.
- Rather than a prison sentence of no more than 15 years, one convicted of first-degree child abuse faces life or any term of years, but not less than 10 years.
- Rather than a sentence of not more than four years, one convicted of child abuse in the second degree would be sentenced to not less than two years or more than 10 years. For a second or subsequent offense, the sentence would be not less than four years or more than 20 years.
- A person who commits child abuse in the presence of a child other than the child who is the victim of the violation is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years, but not less than five years. If one is convicted a second or subsequent time, the sentence would be imprisonment for life or any term of years, but not less than 10 years.
For more information on the story of Dominick Calhoun and the new child abuse law you can watch the news report here http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/video?clipId=7371586&autostart=true. A word of caution it can be emotionally hard to watch.
Do you think this law is tough enough? Too tough? Will it help protect children?