Thursday, July 7, 2011

New When Falls the Coliseum post: Caylee's Law proposal doesn't go far enough

Over at When Falls the Coliseum, I wrote a short, ironic piece about the proposed "Caylee's Law," a petition created in response to the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. A snippet:
If you were not stunned by the verdict in the Casey Anthony case, then you must have a heart of stone, if indeed you have a heart at all. When Casey Anthony was found to be "innocent" of the "crime" of "murdering her own daughter," I myself was stunned. How could such a terrible crime be allowed to go unpunished?, I thought to myself. The fact that I didn't do anything about it other than give it a few minutes' thought and then move on with my life only proves how callous I have become, in the face of injustice and the suffering of others.

But one woman from Oklahoma saw that verdict and actually did something about it, drafting an online petition to encourage "a new federal law created called Caylee's Law that will make it a federal offense for a parent or guardian to not notify law enforcement of a child going missing in a timely manner." Here is some of the powerful prose of the proposed law:
I'm writing to propose that a new law be put into effect making it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to not notify law enforcement of the death of their child, accidental or otherwise, within 1 hour of said death being discovered. This way there will be no more cases like Casey Anthony's in the courts, and no more innocent children will have to go without justice.

Also, make it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of a child within 24 hours, so proper steps can be taken to find that child before it's too late.

Hearteningly, this petition has garnered more than 300,000 signatures. Those people who "signed" this petition understand the importance of not killing children. Or, of reporting your child being killed in a timely manner. They also understand that every time something happens that confuses or annoys us, a new law must be created to add to all the existing laws, which were clearly insufficient in this case because, otherwise, we would have had a more desirous outcome.

I applaud these people. I, too, dislike it when children die. But I believe that this proposed law does not go nearly far enough. For example, why would this law give the parents or guardians one hour after discovering "said death" of the child to report it? Shouldn't they have to report it immediately after discovering "said death"? Why give these people one extra hour to cover up their crimes? In fact, "Caylee's Law" should require people to report the death of a child as it is happening. That way, investigators can get on the scene as the child dies, and begin their investigation into the murderous parent or guardian right away.
You can read the whole thing here, if you like.

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