A new law aimed at making it a felony not to call police if a child is missing for any period of time may be passed in the Florida legislature.
It is a response to the fact that what shocks people most about the tragic case of Casey and Caylee Anthony is that Casey failed to report her daughter missing for 31 days.
Casey, who was charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse, was “sentenced to four consecutive years in jail for counts of lying to law enforcement officers,” according to the Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette. Once Caylee’s body was discovered, there had been too much damage done to it to determine the cause of death.
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The Gazette reported that the two sponsors of the bill, Representative Doug Broxson and State Representative Clay Ford, were “outraged” by the fact that “the law was not on the law books already.” The new law would make it a felony to report the either the death or abduction of a child within a certain, short period of time. The law will be called “Caylee’s Law.”
As Broxson said, “It is a shame that we have to pass laws to encourage basic parental care.”
However, this isn’t the first time that such a law has been passed in order to protect helpless children. The AMBER Alert (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) was originally named after Amber Hagerman, a 9 year old who was kidnapped and murdered in Texas in 1996. The system works by airing a bulletin of the child missing and has been implemented across several countries.
The bill was written by Representative Bill Hager and Representative Clay Ingram. It will be considered for the 2012 legislative session, which begins in January.