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Caylee’s Law: Beneficial or Temporary Satisfaction?
Outrage befell most of the nation when Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her toddler daughter, Caylee Anthony. The nation questioned what were the jurors thinking, how else can the state keep this woman behind bars, and how can these future murders be avoided. Never fear, legislators are here. In response to the Casey Anthony verdict, legislators have slapped together a bill to answer the public outcries. The problem is, is this proposed bill really worth the effort and funding; and mostly, is it even beneficial?
The proposed bill is named Offenses by Caregivers of Minor Children, which will be better known as Caylee’s Law. The following acts will be constituted as a penalty under the bill:
A parent, guardian, or other adult not reporting the disappearance of a child, twelve years old and under, that they are in charge of within forty-eight hours.
A parent, guardian, or other adult in charge of a child who purposely fails to report a child’s death or the location of a child’s body within two hours of obtaining such information
A person lying to or misleading law enforcement about a child that is in or has been endangered.
The proposed bill is nice, but it will not stop or lower the chances of another Caylee Anthony death from happening. The only thing it may do is have the death reported sooner and it will provide some satisfaction of holding someone partially responsible for the death – even if it is not the true culprit. But does it affect the core, motivations and causes behind the death – unfortunately not. Should the law effect early signs of child neglect, troubled parents, guardians and caregivers, mandate some type of assistance in response to signs of potential harm in the parent/guardian/caregiver-child relationship – yes. A bill that affects before death actions (in hopes that it will prevent a death) versus a bill that affects after death actions is what is needed.
The true beneficiaries of Caylee’s Law would be only the advocates and the legislature. Michelle Crowder of Oklahoma currently has an online petition urging Congress to pass Caylee’s Law nationally – a petition which has been receiving mixed reviews. It is human nature to want to put ‘something’ in place that will stop another Caylee Anthony death from occurring. Even if the details aren’t fully thought through, just the action of having one’s name associated with enacting ‘something’ provides some type of gratification that they were at least able to partially avenge a wrong where the judicial system has failed. And an avenging legislature is always good come re-election time.