Ohio lawmakers hear from woman set on fire in support of "Judy's Law"


Tuesday the mother of Judy Malinowski struggled for words in front of lawmakers.

She testified in front of the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee about the hell her daughter has endured.

"Because of the burns being so thick through her skin, she has not been out of bed in over 7 or 8 months, because grafting does not allow for her skin to move or have elasticity," said Bowes. "She is grafted over her entire face all the way down to her ankles."

Malinowski was doused with gasoline and set on fire in August of 2015.

Since then, the mother of two has endured nearly 60 surgeries, and the unspeakable pain of burns and still-open wounds that can't be healed.

"She will never get out of bed probably. She will never ever have the ability to hold her little girls' hands. She'll never be able to braid their long, beautiful hair."

For sentencing her to a lifetime of pain, her attacker, Michael Slager, will serve just 11 years.

It was the maximum possible, but a sentence Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien called "a travesty."

O'Brien also testified before the committee Tuesday in favor of tougher penalties for crimes that permanently disfigure or disable.

"The really serious, debilitating, permanent injuries that affect someone's ability to perform everyday functions," O'Brien said.

A victim's advocate from his office listed a string of other cases she's handled where the maximum sentence fails to meet the crime.

"A father threw his 5-month-old son against a wall, and this child suffered traumatic brain injuries," said Tess DiNero. "Since the incident, this child has regressed to the mental state of a 10 day-old child. This child will never recover."

In a videotaped statement from her hospital bed, Malinowski urged lawmakers to act.

"It's destroyed my life, my families life, kids' life, everyone around us' life," Malinowski said. "And the laws of justice are just not fair."

It won't change her outcome, but her mother says Judy hopes it will bring justice to others.

"She told me, 'I can't help myself, now. If I can just help somebody, even though I can't help myself...so I know this is what she would want."

House Bill 63, also known as "Judy's Law," would give judges the option of adding between 5 to 20 years to the prison sentence for crimes that leave victims permanently disabled or disfigured.

You can learn more about it, and watch Judy Malinowski's story in her own words:

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