Stiffer Child Abuse Sentencing
More than 40 new laws take effect in North Carolina on Sunday, including one that changes the maximum prison terms in the most serious child abuse cases.
The stiffest sentence has been about 15-years, but that jumps to 33-years on December 1st.
The change is being praised by groups that champion the rights of children, including one that just got started here in the mountains.
"Shaken Baby Syndrome of NC" was founded by an Arden mother of four.
Willow Arnold was inspired by the case of "Baby Clay", a Henderson County six-month-old who was nearly shaken to death back in July.
The infant is now in what is being described as a "vegetative state."
Arnold says she believes change in sentencing guidelines will bring justice for the many babies who will never have their normal lives back.
Arnold's non-profit group plans to set-up educational programs across the mountains and she has hopes it will one day be a statewide organization.
If you would like to make a donation to "Shaken Baby Syndrome of NC", click here.
By Frank Kracher
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKracher