Mo House Backs Stiffer Penalties For Baby Deaths
JEFFERSON CITY (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, 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.