Burn attacks: more than disfigurement

Burn injuries can range from mild stovetop accidents to devastating and debilitating measures that can alter an individual's life forever. Many burn victims experienced injuries as a result of explosions, exposure to dangerous chemicals or house fires; others have endured physical attacks that left them disfigured and even clinging to life. In Ohio, lawmakers have recently changed the details of laws surrounding fire-related attacks by stiffening the legal penalties.

In the case of Judy Malinowski, an Ohio mother who was set on fire by her ex-partner, such attacks can be fatal. While Dayton Daily News reported that Malinowski succumbed to her burns after a two-year battle, Ohio Senate voted in favor of Judy's Law only a day after Malinowski died. The bill, which toughens the penalties for attackers, also allows longer prison sentences for crimes that disfigure victims. As for Malinowski's case, law enforcement is currently working with the original arson investigator to determine whether a homicide case can be pursued.    

US News also weighs in on Malinowski's horrific burn attack, pointing out that with Ohio Governor John Kasich's signature, the bill for Judy's Law could quickly become Ohio law. Currently, Malinowski's attacker faces 11 years in prison after being convicted of charges that include aggravated arson and felonious assault. With the extreme likelihood of the bill's passing, attackers may face an additional six years in prison. In addition, prosecutors plan to file murder charges against the attacker following Malinowski's death. Lawmakers in Ohio hope to see Judy's Law take effect, and for the system to offer justice to those who have fallen victim to disfigurement-related attacks in the past. 

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