A continued push for legislation to protect kids in family court
ALBANY, NY (Erie News Now)--DURING A RECENT SENATE COMMITTEE HEARING, SOME ADVOCATES AND LAWMAKERS RENEW THEIR CALL to pass KYRA’S LAW—LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REQUIRE THE COURT TO CONSIDER A CHILD’S HEALTH AND SAFETY DURING CUSTODY PROCEEDINGS AND MANDATE SPECIFIC DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE TRAININGS FOR JUDGES.
KYRA’S LAW IS NAMED AFTER 2-YEAR-OLD KYRA FRANCHETTI, WHOSe FATHER SHOT HER IN THE BACK TWICE WHILE SHE WAS SLEEPING DURING AN UNSUPERVISED COURT MANDATED VISIT IN 2016.
KYRA’S MOM, JACQUELINE FRANCHETTI, SAid THIS LEGISLATION IS CRUCIAL TO KEEP CHILDREN SAFE IN FAMILY COURT.
“Our judges right now are making life and death decisions without the proper tools, without the proper skill set and the consequences are devastating,” she said
FRANCHETTI SAid SHE DID EVERYTHING SHE COULD TO PROTECT KYRA, WARNING THE LONG ISLAND COURT HANDLING HER CASE THAT KYRA’S FATHER WAS UNSTABLE AND VIOLENT AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED UNSUPERVISED TIME WITH HER. But, THE FAMILY COURT SYSTEM FAILED HER, she said.
SOME LAWMAKERS SAid THEY ARE CONCERNED ABOUT JUDGES LEVEL OF TRAINING RELATED CUSTODY CASES INVOLVING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND CHILD ABUSE.
“It is astonishing and unacceptable that a child's safety, children's safety is not the paramount most important thing that’s considered when deciding custody,” said Sen. James Skoufis (D-42nd Senate District).
FRANCHETTI RECALLING ONE OF HER LAST MEMORIES WITH HER DAUGHTER, WHERE SHE HAD JUST LEARNED TO ROLL DOWN A HILL FOR THE FIRST TIME, SAid SHE WANTS TO SEE THIS LEGISLATION PASS TO HONOR KYRA.
“She took a couple of awkward tumbles down and she got up and she said, ‘I did it mama, I did it.’ And I can’t wait for Kyra’s law to pass so I can tell her that I did it for her,” she said.
SKOUFIS SAid HE IS CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT NEXT YEAR WILL BE THE YEAR THEY PASS KYRA’S LAW.