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This bill expands the definition of the term “physical injury” in the child abuse and neglect laws to include “pain.” Currently the law permits a parent to use force to punish a child for misconduct, but it prohibits any act that is likely to cause or does cause physical injury. By redefining “physical injury” to include the infliction of pain on a child, spanking would become a crime in Delaware punishable by imprisonment.
Under the proposed law, a parent causing “physical injury” (e.g., pain) to a child under age 18 would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and subject to one year in prison. A parent causing pain to a child who is 3 years of age or younger would be guilty of a class G felony and subject to two years in prison.
06/05/2012 (Senate) Assigned to Judiciary Committee
06/13/2012 (Senate) Reported out of committee with 5 on its merits
06/14/2012 (Senate) Amendment No. 1 introduced
06/19/2012 (Senate) Amendment No. 1 stricken
06/19/2012 (Senate) Amendment No. 2 introduced
06/19/2012 (Senate) Amendment No. 2 passed 20-0
06/19/2012 (Senate) Bill passed 21-0
06/20/2012 (House) Assigned to Judiciary Committee
06/26/2012 (House) Reported out of Judiciary Committee with 7 on its merits
06/28/2012 (House) Passed the House of Representatives 34-7
09/12/2012 Signed by Governor
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