Spanking bill rejected
By Jim Sanders, Bee Capitol Bureau, The Sacramento Bee, June 1, 2007

California legislation that attracted national attention for proposing to ban parental spanking died with a whimper Thursday in a watered-down form rejected by lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 755 was shelved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, D-Mountain View, had stripped the spanking prohibition from the bill in February because it had attracted massive opposition and stood no chance of passage.

In its final version, rejected on Thursday, AB 755 proposed statutory language designed to make it easier to prosecute corporal punishment.

State law currently bans corporal punishment if it inflicts physical pain or mental suffering that is unjustifiable, which Lieber claims is a loophole hampering prosecution.

AB 755 would authorize juries to infer that the punishment was not justifiable if it involved various specific acts, ranging from vigorous shaking to striking with a belt to interfering with a child's breathing.



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