Ten thousand signatures and the Davenport family is one step closer to gaining closure for the tragic ordeal young Kilah Davenport suffered last year at the hands of her stepfather. Kilah’s doctors told her family she would not live after the May 16, 2012 beating, and later the doctor’s said she would be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. In the months since, Kilah has grown stronger each day and is slowly learning to eat, walk, and talk again.
The family, in conjunction with The Justice for All Coalition, is in the process of getting support from communities to introduce a tougher sentencing guideline for anyone who
causes permanent and debilitating physical injury to a child to have a potential sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
According to Russ Freeze, a volunteer with the coalition, the sentencing is the same as if someone abuses their dog.
“The most time he (Kilah’s stepfather) will serve in jail will be two to three years if he gets out on good behavior,” said Russ Freeze of the Coalition at a Stanfield Council meeting last year.╩ Freeze and other volunteers have approached local municipalities across the state to gain support.
According to a statement made by Jeff Gerber of the Coalition, Rep. Craig Horn will introduce the bill when the legislature reconvenes January 30. The bill will then be in the hands of the Judiciary B Committee where the members of the committee will focus on the details of the bill and then public hearings will be held. The bill will then go to the N.C. House for a vote by all of the representatives. If the bill is passed in the House, it will then travel to the N.C. Senate for a vote. If the bill is passed by both the N.C. House and the N.C. Senate, it will go to the governor for consideration.
“Due to the incredible public support for ‘Kilah’s Law’ I am hopeful this process will go smoothly,” said Gerber. “Sometimes bills become law very fast and other times, it can take some time. All we can do is pray this process happens quickly as ‘Kilah’s
Law’ will no doubt save lives.”
An online petition on change.org for Kilah’s Law has now reached the goal of more than 10,000 signatures, and they are asking for more. The next goal for the petition is 20,000 signatures.
“Just because we have met our mark doesn’t mean we silence our fight for a change,” said Kilah’s mother, Kirbi Davenport. “There is still a need to continue getting people to sign the Kilah’s Law Petition.”