NC Senate delays 'Kilah's Law'

NC Senate delays 'Kilah's Law'

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on March 14, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 14 at 6:41 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The North Carolina Senate delayed a bill that would mean more time in prison for child abusers.

The bill is called Kilah's Law, named after a Charlotte-area girl who suffered severe brain damage.
 
Police say Kilah Davenport’s stepfather threw her against a wall last May. The 3-year-old was left in a vegetative state.

If convicted her stepfather would only get four to eight years.

Kilah’s mother is working with the Justice for All Coalition to pass a bill that would enact tougher penalties for convicted child abusers.

“The Kilah before would have been so excited that she was helping somebody else,” Kilah’s mom Kirbi said.

The House passed it unanimously this week but the Senate has delayed a vote.

Kirbi said, “I’m angry, I’m hurt because this is basically saying to everyone in North Carolina that it just doesn't matter.”

Legislators are concerned about finding the estimated $800,000 dollars the bill would cost the state.

Jeff Gerber with the Justice for All Coalition said, “They’re sending us a message that we first have to figure out how we’re going to pay to incarcerate these individuals before we can put ‘em behind bars.”

But the legislator behind the bill tells NBC Charlotte he's still fighting for it, and expects movement in the next few weeks.

Kirbi is vowing to continue her fight as well, “It’s really frustrating but like I’ve said from the beginning, I’m not stopping. This isn't it.”

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