Lawmakers in 16 states have proposed a so-called Caylee’s Law to prosecute parents who do not report their child missing quickly enough. The proposals come as a response to public outrage over the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the death of her 2-year-old daughter. An online petition calling for the law has received well over 1 million signatures.
The new measure would make it a felony to wait to report a missing child for more than 24 hours. It would also make it a felony to wait to report the death of a child for more than an hour.
Not everyone thinks the law is necessary.
“The proposal seems like a knee-jerk overreaction to a very sad situation,” Denver attorney Dan Recht said of the proposal in Colorado in an interview with KDVR. He added that it was “crazy” to make it a felony to fail to notify the authorities in one hour.
States considering similar laws include Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and New Jersey among others.
Casey Anthony failed to report the death of her daughter for more than a month, telling friends Caylee was with a nanny. After Anthony’s mother alerted authorities about her missing grandchild, Casey told investigators Caylee was kidnapped by the nanny.
Casey Anthony was convicted on four misdemeanor counts of lying to investigators.