Regional
3:34 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Governor Martinez Proposes Tougher Child Abuse Penalties

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez wants the Legislature to increase penalties for child abuse, including when drunken drivers kill children.

The governor proposed the measures Tuesday during her state of the state speech to a joint session of the House and Senate.

Martinez was a former prosecutor before winning election as governor in 2010.

She proposed expanding a law that allows for life in prison for child abuse that results in the death of a child. Currently, that penalty is an option if the victim is under 12 years of age. Martinez proposes to extend the law to all children, regardless of age.

The governor also asked lawmakers to increase jail time for drunken drivers with child passengers who are killed in an accident.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.