Monday, April 26, 2010

Survivors: Adam Carbajal, Part II

Three First Five counties joined to bring the story of Adam Carbajal, and the remarkable campaign of his grandparents for legislation that creates serious consequences for those who inflict injuries on young children, to video - via YouTube...

More on Adam's story.

More on the effort to enact Adam's Law, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Villines:
Adam's Law: Shake, Hit or Hurt a Child Severely = 15 Years-to-Life

In November of 2004, a young resident of our Fresno community, Adam Carbajal, became a victim of devastating child abuse by being subjected to shaken baby syndrome resulting in severe head trauma. Although Adam was initially given only a five percent chance of survival, he lives today with permanent brain damage and is paralyzed on the right side. Adam cannot walk, talk or do anything most little boys his age can do.

Adam's perpetrator was charged with two counts – corporal injury to a child and willful cruelty to a child under the age of five. After skipping bail and being on the run for months, then harassing Adam's family and insisting he fell on his own, only to later plead guilty, Adam's assailant will only serve seven and a half years in prison.This is because current California law does not take into consideration the consequences or the end result of an incident of child abuse when determining the sentence for the crime. Even if Adam's injuries only resulted in a broken arm or leg, the child abuser's punishment would remain the same.

When I heard about this family's story from Adam's concerned and loving grandparents, I knew action needed to be taken to correct this glaring deficiency in the law. To put an end to this, next year I will be authoring ''Adam's Law'', a measure that will result in longer prison sentences for perpetrators who cause severe and permanent damage to children.

If the child abuser shakes, hits or hurts a child severely, the punishment would be 15 years-to-life. I believe we should stop at nothing to protect our children from harmful and dangerous abusers like Adam's assailant.

I'm proud to stand by Adam's family and work with the Legislature to correct this loophole in our system, bringing justice to more families and most importantly, preventing this from happening to any more children.

To find out more information about Adam Carbajal and learn how you can help the efforts of his family, send an email to

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