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Caylee Law Petition

July 7, 2011 by staff 

Caylee Law PetitionCaylee Law Petition, An Internet movement to change the law in the first hours after Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter has gone viral and is being supported by the masses disappointed by the verdict. “Caylee Act” would make a crime for parents or caregivers not to report the death of a child to the authorities – accidental or otherwise – in an hour. It would also make an offense for guardians to notify authorities not the disappearance of a child within 24 hours.

Michelle Crowder, Oklahoma, started the online petition to create the first hours after the law was announced the verdict.

“When I saw that Casey Anthony had pleaded not guilty in the murder of little Caylee and that she was only convicted of lying to police about her disappearance, he got sick,” Crowder said in a news release. “I could not believe I was not being accused of neglect or danger, or obstruction of justice.”

In a verdict that made headlines worldwide, 25-year-old Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, and not guilty of child abuse. She was convicted of four counts of lying to police while investigating the disappearance of her daughter. Casey Anthony waited 30 days before reporting her missing daughter. At least one Florida lawmaker supports the idea. State Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, announced Wednesday afternoon, which is currently preparing legislation in line with the movement of Internet. Hager is on the Judiciary Committee. Sooner would be able to present the bill during the next legislative session that begins in March.
“Making a law on the books requiring parents and guardians to the disappearance of children who are in great danger at the right time will ensure that parents are responsible for their actions,” he said in a statement. “It will also ensure that justice will stand with those among us who are most vulnerable. And finally, put an end to the kind of irresponsible and outrageous behavior we’ve seen with Caylee’s mother.”

But some wonder if a new law in Brevard is needed at all. Brevard Circuit Judge Preston Silvernail said this conversation did not take place if the jury had a different verdict. “I think there are existing laws on aggravated child abuse, child abuse, child neglect, including the placement of a child in danger, so I’m not sure a new charter is needed,” he said. “I know some may have believed the defendant guilty, but the jury selected by both parties and approved by the court made a decision based on law, evidence and their own experience.

Defense attorney Steve Casanova questions the legality of the law. “While the idea may be good, enforcement of the law as it is most likely not pass constitutional review on the basis of privacy concerns and the rights attached to 5th Amendment of the accused, a cornerstone of our justice system, “he said. Melbourne Szachacz defense attorney Keith said it would be better away from the gut reactions.

“The immediate reactions to create a new law or change existing law should be avoided,” he said. “A careful and thorough, with opportunity for discussion, is required.” That does not mean it cannot happen.
In 2005, only months after 9 years Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, raped and murdered by convicted sex offender John Couey, the “Jessica Lunsford Act” became law in Florida. The law sanctions for those convicted of sexual offenses against children less than 12 years. Numerous states have already passed similar laws, but not a push to make it a federal law.

Wayne Ivey, Department of Law Enforcement of the resident agent in charge of Brevard County, knows how important it is to immediately report missing children. In 2004, he created the Child Abduction Response Team (CART), which coordinates the efforts of law enforcement to begin monitoring and investigation as soon as children are reported missing. The program is already underway around the country.

“Our children are the most precious thing in our lives and we must take all measures to protect them. The development of this type of labor legislation to promote laws that are already in place that are designed to protect our children and prevent the harm’s way, “he said. “The essence of time can be one of the most important factors in saving the life of a missing child.”

Ivey said that national statistics show that 44 percent of abducted children who are killed to meet its demise in the first hour of her abduction. That number jumps significantly – 76 percent – during the first three hours.

“Failure to report a child as missing or wounded is sure to hamper rescue efforts that can be used to save the life of that child,” he said. By midafternoon, the online petition to the law had about 100,000 signatures.

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