Caylee's Law

After three years behind bars, Casey Anthony, walked away from a Florida Jail, as a free person. She has been acquitted in the murder of her daughter Caylee.

Many in the public felt disappointment, anger some outrage for the sentence passed down for the crime Mrs. Anthony was convicted of, Lying to the Police.

True to American tradition, when there is some kind of miscarriage of justice, we move to fix it by passing a new law. There is a national movement for every state to pass some version of Caylee’s law.

Legislators for sea to shining sea and across the fruited plain are falling over themselves to get such a law passed in their respective states.

Caylee’s law simply put makes it a crime (a felony?) for not reporting a child missing within 24 hours. If such a law was in place, Mr. Anthony would not be walking the streets a free person, rather, she would be locked away for a long time.

I guess every South Dakota legislator had their E-mail explode with various e-mails about passing such a law. Representative Steve Hickey (dist 9) reported on his face book page he responded to over 100 E-mails concerning Caylee’s law.

What happen to Caylee is horrible. Casey Anthony will have to live with herself and with the knowledge that in what ever way, she took part in murder of her child, I can think of no worse sentence then that. In my mind that is worse than what any judge could hand down from the bench. I am not going to say justice has been served, because I am not in a place to judge Mrs. Anthony, nor do I know all the facts.

Last February I took my daughter to Pierre to see what the legislature really does and meet with our Representative, Stace Nelson, who explained, that for a bill to become a law is a long, hard process. It is debated, discussed, amended, discussed some more, changed, refined, then finally voted on, then it is up the Governor to make the finial yea or nay on the bill. The process is in place to help sure the best possible bills are passed as laws and to keep the junk off the books.  It is not a perfect process, but it seems to work.

Taking a bill like Caylee’s law and rushing it through, just to get it on the books, as fast as possible can be the recipe for disaster. The Caylee Anthony case is just one case, are there more cases like it? What would this law really do?

I can tell you that as a parent, there is no law, no regulation, no rulebook or even a license requirement to parenthood. (sometimes I wish I had an instruction manual) Being a parent come from within. When your child isn’t where they are suppose to be, you begin to worry and start searching, if you can’t find them, you ask for help quickly, there is no law that possibly address this.

Would Caylee’s law really help or is this back-door approach to legislating parenting?  Let’s debate it, discuss it, introduce a bill and have it go through the process to become law, or not.

25 Replies to “Caylee's Law”

    1. caheidelberger

      Ditto. I am willing to assume on principle that any law inspired by this media circus is a bad idea. I am disappointed that a national movement can rise up to fill e-mail inboxes about this sensationalized soap opera and not about serious policy issues. I am disgusted that more people here seem to know about this one faraway woman than about Keystone pipeline system that’s leaking and taking land rights away right in their backyard.

  1. Troy Jones

    Mike, we know all too well that anything society could have done to punish her is nothing compared to her internal sentence nor what she will have to account for on her particular judgment day.

    1. MC Post author

      Troy, you and I know this pain all too well. I pray that very few will ever have to deal it.

      As a society, we have a responbility to the childern. How far do we go to protect them from their parents? I know there are no easy answers.

      More imporantly, can folks like you and I put our personal feelings aside and deal with the issue at hand. There are still times I struggle keeping my emotions in check.

      1. anonymous

        I feel she would have been found guilty if the death penalty were off the table. I didn’t follow the trial as close as I should have for it being on TV 24/7 but I was never convinced she did it deliberately and was uncomfortable with her getting the death penalty.

        The prosecution over reached.

  2. PNR

    The cliche (which I think is true) is “Hard cases make bad law.”

    We have enough bad laws without allowing a single difficult case in a distant state rush us into more. It’s little more than legislating by CNN (or FoxNews or Judge Judy for that matter). No thanks.

  3. springer

    I am still upset at all the attention this case got, just like I was with OJ. Both were blown up by the media. OJ because he was a celebrity, this one I think because Caylee was such a beautiful little girl. Why were both blown up so much? Ratings I’m also guessing. Neither belonged on the news like they were. There are many other children who go missing and are murdered; why aren’t they covered in like manner?

    I’m upset by the verdict like most in the rest of the country, but I don’t think that this new law will solve the issue of incompetent parenting. I don’t know of a single person that would let their child go missing for two minutes, let alone days and days. But there are some, as this case shows. However, this law will not prevent them from becoming parents or their children from child abuse. I hope that the news coverage of this trial will lessen quickly and that people will drop their knee-jerk reaction to the verdict with this proposed law. It sounds good, but any hastily passed law has unintended consequences and can be worse than doing nothing.

    1. anonymous

      Partly it was because America became emotionally attached to the search for Caylee early on and then when all signs pointed to the mother the story blew up… If there wouldn’t have been a search to find her alive this case wouldn’t have garnered so much attention.

  4. CaveMan

    Anger and guilt are the two most life suppressing emotions we humans can possess both equally affecting the holder with sickness, shortness of life, and untold sleepness nights. Whomever murdered this little girl will have much of all until the ultimate Judge sets sentence. We do not need to give it much more thought, especially by passing yet another piece of legislation trying to control the human spirit.

  5. Susan Wismer

    It?s an interesting commentary in what issues get people excited about contacting their legislators. In my case, the emails are all from my constituents, several I know personally, nearly none of whom I have ever heard from before. This particular issue seems to have grabbed them, and/or it is a curious study in the results of what making it easy to contact a legislator will do for an issue. Now if only we could capture that interest for other issues that really do affect them every day!

    1. anonymous

      I would like to give the legislators a pay raise. My gosh we work them all year round.

      100 emails take a lot of time to answer and imagine all of the other places they must attend.

    2. MC Post author

      This Anthony saga was built up over several years. The national media played it’s part well, right up to the now famed Nancy Grace. Some of this stuff that came out during the investigation, was almost made for cable news.

      Trying to apply some of the media blitz that took place during this story, would take a major undertaking. You have to have a compelling start, then release bite size morsels of tantalizing information all the way to a climax where you drop the big one. Applying this to normal everyday lives, of normal everyday people. Almost impossible. As soon as the public knows what is up, the rules change.

  6. El Toro Loco Grande (The Big Crazy Bull)

    Rep. Wismer,
    Thank you for posting. It is always great to see evidence that sitting legislators are keeping up to date on the issues of concern to South Dakotans. It gets a little rowdy here on occasion, folks get a little snippy, but us low class people are happy to see any legislators in here mixing it up. Thank you for your service.

  7. anonymous

    If a mother is willing to intentionally kill her child she will take the lesser consequences of this law in order to allow time for the body to decompose beyond the point forensic evidence can determine or trace the actuall cause of death.

  8. Steve Hickey

    Here’s a sum of some of the points people are dropping on my Facebook page – almost all are against such a law. I appreciate all the various comments and views and that’s why I put it out there….
    – How many people have not reported their missing child?
    – Law or no law, if you have something to hide, you won’t report.
    – This feels like a knee-jerk reaction, some of the worst decisions we make are those made in the heat of the moment.
    – If you want to pass a Stupid Law, how about making it a felony for child care providers to breed cougars? I don’t think child care providers should keep grizzly bears as pets, either. At least not within city limits!
    – You are trying to police common sense.
    And my comment was…. What gets me is that we even need laws like this- it demonstrates how far we’ve moved away from self-government. Amazing that we have to make laws to get people to parent responsibly. This O’Reilly column was also part of the discussion: http://www.BillOReilly.com/column;jsessionid=0350427F496059BD10DFCF5914684698?pid=32950

  9. Steve Hickey

    And yet, as I said in responding to all those emails… I’m inclined to support a Caylee’s law and I know other legislators are in touch with the AG about how that would look in SD.

  10. Duh

    24 hours is too short. What if the daughter or son go on a trip with friends and the mother either forgets or kids don’t tell? Is she supposed to panic and call the fuzz only to find out Johnny went to the schmuckfest/polka festival in Freeman? Then what does she get a filing of a false report charge? I agree, tough cases make bad law.

  11. Duh

    Larry K – I don’t think anyone here doesn’t care about child abuse whereever it may reside. However, the reservations are a different animal and there are jurisdictional boundaries that must be adhered to. Why is it our fault that the Indian nations cannot police their own people when it is their soveriegnty that they continually profess?? Looks to me in the article that you cited that it is being looked into. Your anger is misplaced again.