A bill increasing the maximum sentence for fatal child abuse cleared its most significant hurdle yet on Tuesday when it passed a House of Delegates committee.
Justice’s Law, as the bill is known, languished in the House Judiciary Committee in past years, failing to even come up for a vote.
But on Tuesday, the committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the full House.
Currently, the maximum penalty for first-degree child abuse resulting in death in Maryland is 30 years in prison.
Del. Neil C. Parrott, R-Washington, who sponsored the House version of the bill, said an amendment changing the new proposed maximum from life in prison, as originally proposed, to 40 years in prison appears to have been the difference this year.
Sen.Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, who is in his fifth year of pushing for the change in the law, previously made the same change to the Senate version.