Guest Post: “Caylee’s Law” Could Make Me a Criminal

Hi Readers! I’m busy filming my TV show, so I was glad to get this pithy guest post on Caylee’s Law. It’s a proposed law I’ve been disturbed by, mostly because often when we make laws named for tragic children, they seem to make sense only in very specific situations, and retroactively, to boot. Like, “If only we’d had a law against moms buying duct tape, this never would have happened!” Then we get saddled with a law that doesn’t keep anyone safer, but does impinge on everyone’s freedom.
So here’s an essay by suburban Chicago dad Mark Buldak, who says his motto is, “Common sense isn’t as common as it used to be,” and is active in the Facebook group “Ban Dihydrogen Oxide.” — L
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“CAYLEE’S LAW” COULD MAKE ME A CRIMINAL, by Mark Buldak
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The knee-jerk reaction to bad motherhood being proposed, labeled Caylee’s Law, is a blow to Free-Range Kids.
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As proposed, the law would make failure to report a missing child in a timely manner a felony.
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I’ve received numerous requests from friends on Facebook to “join the cause” and sign the online petition favoring the passage of this bill. I refuse.
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I have problems with “in a timely manner.”  That’s vague and open to whims of interpretation. For example: My 13-year-old daughter tells me, “Dad, I’m going over to Brittney’s house for the afternoon.  I’ll call you later.”
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Four hours have gone by.  I haven’t heard from my daughter, so I call Brittney’s mom.  She tells me, no, my daughter isn’t there and, in fact, has not been there all afternoon.
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I call my daughter’s cellphone; no answer–only voicemail.  Of course I don’t have Brittney’s number—why would I need that?
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Seven hours after she left, my daughter walks in.  I’m relieved, and a little angry.  I demand to know where she’s been.
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“Dad, I’m sorry!  We ran into Madison and decided to spend the afternoon at the mall.  I tried calling, but I forgot to charge my phone.  It was dead, and Madison’s and Brittney’s couldn’t get signals.  You know the mall took out its pay phones last year.”
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With Caylee’s Law and an eager district attorney, I could be charged.  After all, my daughter was missing for seven hours.
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Granted, Casey Anthony did not graduate from the June Cleaver School of Motherhood.  That’s no call to punish all other mothers and fathers out there. — M.B.

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238 Responses to Guest Post: “Caylee’s Law” Could Make Me a Criminal

  1. mamataney July 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Well said, I couldn’t agree more.

  2. Mr. Shreck July 11, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I am reminded of a quote from William S. Burroughs:

    “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it.”

    These are horrible, horrible laws that will almost certainly get passed with the full support of the Mrs. Lovejoy’s of the country. Won’t somebody please think of the children who will grow up to be the adult offenders of all the laws we now pass to protect them?

  3. Selby July 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Totally and completely agree. Place this next to another horrifying tragedy: the case of the father at the baseball game, who reached for the ball amiably flipped to him by a player, and fell to his death. Awful and horrifying, perhaps even more than the Anthony case because it was such a halcyon event gone terribly and freakishly wrong. I feel terrible about it. But what now? Will we (the rhetoric we) rush to plug this hole in the universe because such freak accidents upset us to the core? Perhaps the stadium will put up higher guardrails? But will they then take it a step further and prohibit children under the age of 10 (ish) from sitting in the first 5 (ish) rows of the tiers? And/or prohibit players from tossing balls to fans altogether?

  4. Kate July 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    I agree, “in a timely manner” is much too vague.The version I saw actually specified “within 24 hours” which seemed more than reasonable to me.

    On the other hand “I couldn’t get a signal in the mall” is not an excuse since it is still possible to walk outside the mall to make a phone call instead of disappearing for 7 hours.

  5. Krolik July 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

    I also read “24 hours”. My worry is that, as is usually the case with such initiatives, the law would be applied to all children under 18. Meaning that if I let my 17-year-old go backpacking through Europe with his friends and he doesn’t call in every day, I could be charged. I would absolutely get behind a law that requires reporting of missing children under 12 within 48 hours. Except…what is the definition of “missing”? If my child is visiting her father in another state and I don’t hear from them for two days, should I report it?

  6. Beth July 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Good point, Selby. I was at a baseball game yesterday, and I wanted to see if it seemed like the throwing-the-ball-into-the-stands seemed different. Maybe it was just me, but it did. It seemed like a lot more balls were handed to kids (by security and ballboys around the perimeter), as opposed to being tossed, and one player who always throws a ball into the stands on his way into the dugout, didn’t.

  7. Beth July 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    @Kate, not getting a signal at the mall might not be a good excuse, but it could be a reason not to charge a dad, who knows his daughter and is doing what he can to locate her, with a felony for not involving the police.

  8. Brenna July 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    I totally agree. This gets back to the notion that we have to be in constant communication with our children. There are so many situations where this law simply doesn’t make sense. If I send my older teenagers camping for three days, I really don’t want to hear from them – I want them to have a camping trip. God forbid something does happen, and I didn’t report it. Now I’ve committed a felony? It all gets back to “punish the parent” for what we used to call life.

  9. Marie July 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    So what… there’s a lot of parents who don’t report their child missing fast enough? Failing to report Caylee missing in anything resembling a timely manner may have been a big hole in the Anthony case, but it’s not something that needs a law.

  10. hampchick July 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    The Caylee’s law proposed by Michele Crowder would make it a felony to not report a death after one hour, and a missing child after 24 hours not the vague “in a timely manner” reported here.

    I agree however, this law is knee-jerk unnecessary that will cause more harm to innocent parents and their children. While I know how rare these high profile cases are, I’m imagining the innocent parents of a child that has been abducted going to jail because they thought their child was at a sleepover.

  11. Ray D. July 11, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    “On the other hand “I couldn’t get a signal in the mall” is not an excuse since it is still possible to walk outside the mall to make a phone call instead of disappearing for 7 hours.”

    But that’s a parental discipline issue, not a criminal matter. So it’s a fair point, but it’s in no way pertinent.

  12. oncefallendotcom July 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    This online petition is exactly the reason why the uneducated have no business writing justice policy.

    First off, pretty much every police department had policies in place where they won’t accept a missing person’s report until 24-48 hours in the first place in most circumstances because most missing persons reports are resolved on their own. For example, there was a missing kid story the other day where there was a huge search and the whole time the kid was hiding under the bed. That policy has changed in many places simply because of public fears.

    Second, laws named after people lack rational or common sense approaches to crime fighting. We have Megan’s Law, the Adamn Walsh Act, Jessica’s Law, and a few others. We pass ill conceived knee jerk laws in the name of the person the law is named after. At least most states are rejecting AWA, if for nothing else but for budgetary reasons.

  13. EricS July 12, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    @ oncefallendotcom: you took the words right out of my mouth. Life is not complicated. People make it complicated. Any aspect of it. One of the biggest motivators out there are the ones were you pray on people’s emotions. Many will jump on this act never thinking of consequences, and common sense. They act instinctively on pure emotions. And we all know, that never leads to anything positive.

    @ Ray D: Yes, it’s no excuse that they couldn’t get a signal. But we were all teens once, and we all know when your with friends at the mall, checking in has always been low on the list of your priorities. You tend to “deal” with the situation when you get home. But the key thing, at least for me when I was growing up, was that my parents trusted me enough that even if I didn’t call in just to let them know what I’m doing and where I am, I would definitely call if something went wrong, or I was in need of assistance. We grew up knowing that, and made sure we were always aware of what was going on. A lot of parents don’t educate their kids anymore. Either they shelter them, or they let them run amok. Trust is the foundation of ALL relationships. It’s also one of the things that keep people from complicating situations.

  14. Kate July 12, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    The real problem here is the definition of “missing” which is going to vary a lot from situation to situation. If I send my teenagers camping and I don’t expect to here from them every day (for whatever reason) then the fact that I don’t get a call doesn’t mean they’re “missing” but if they didn’t arrive back home or call within a few hours of their ETA than I would. On the other hand if my teenager doesn’t show up at the friend’s house she tell me she is going to and goes AWOL for 7 hours that to me is “missing.” I wouldn’t call the police at that point but I would definitely consider her to be “missing” (which was the reason I pointed out that “no signal in the mall” is not an excuse).

    I’m not 100% in favor if this law by any means but I do feel that some of the negative response to it is as knee-jerk and reactionary as the feelings that led to its proposal in the first place.

  15. RobynHeud July 12, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

  16. Scott July 12, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    whats next? say they are gonna retroactively charge jaycee dugards mom for letting he walk to the bus stop alone?

    i think this post and its timing are in severe bad taste. or do we really believe they will prosecute for such a minescule amount of time?

    Somer thomspsons mom and her family scoured the neighborhood for her for about the same amonut of time as your guessing here, because she had run off before. she was never charged and was not lynched for doing it either.

    i wonder sometimes who does the ‘knee jerk reaction’, the law or this site.

  17. SKL July 12, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    I had the same thought. Very concerning – mostly because it doesn’t help children. This law is about bringing to justice a murderer after a child is already dead. If the child is already dead, she is not helped by this law. I don’t believe that a deceased child cares who does or doesn’t go to prison.

    There are other things about this that bother me. One, does this mean that the cops are going to be involved every time a child decides to go off the beaten path? If so, what are the implications of that? Cops kept away from more important duties? A police record or worse for the child or parent? More fear of independent thought and action?

    Does anyone know the % of temporarily absent kids who are actually lost and in need of assistance to get home? I’m assuming it’s extremely low.

    When I was a kid, I did not have to tell my parents where I was going or where I’d been. I just had to be home for dinner and for bed. My kids now like to go out and I’ve told them they can, but they need to tell me first (they are 4). I have not told them I have to know every detail of their daily plans, because I don’t think that’s necessary. But will I get in trouble if I can’t answer the question “where is your kid supposed to be”? (Especially when she gets older and actually goes somewhere beyond the yard?)

  18. Sara July 12, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Hmm, wonder if this would hurt parents who kick their kids out of the house?

    I’ve got no problem with the law provided the final version has some common sense built into it. If you really truly don’t know where your kid is overnight then there is a problem. If you send them camping they’re not missing and they’re not presumed runaways.

  19. Helynna Brooke July 12, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    If this law were enacted, it would actually help people who want to kill their children. They could report them missing right away, be in the news crying and upset, and then when the body was finally found, unless there was clear evidence indicating the parent did it, defense would talk about how upset they had been on national television so they couldn’t possibly have done it. I could also see the daily news reporting all the “new” missing children, but they would neglect to report the next day that they were found at the mall with friends. So we would all feel even more afraid. Finally, if this law were enacted it would really help angry parents who are divorced. They would have a great tool for harrassing the other parent. All they would have to say is that they left a voicemail on the other adult’s phone and didn’t get a call back so they didn’t know where their chlld was. It might be resolved without calling it a felony in this case but it would cause a lot of trouble.
    People who do horrible things aren’t going to stop doing them because of a law.

  20. LRH July 12, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    I disagree with the proposal for the obvious reasons as stated, but most of all simply because this case was EXTREMELY overhyped, much like JonBenet Ramsay before it, and I’m simply tired of hearing about it in anyway whatsoever. No disrespect, but what makes her anymore special than any other murdered child? Thank you very much Nancy DIS-Grace!

    LRH

  21. Scott July 12, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    thats totally digusting LRH.

    What kind of site is this turning into? i thought it was a good site but now it looks like a bunch of apathetic whiners who wouldnt care if there own kids went missing.

  22. J-e-s-s July 12, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    From what i get about this law is, it’s not about going after parents who don’t report their child missing because they don’t know exactly where the child is at one particular moment, or to go after parents that in good faith don’t report their kid missing because the figure they are at the mall with friends.
    It’s about giving courts more options and charges to bring against a person who is responsible for the death of their child and trying to hide it, or for allowing and a spouse, or boy/girlfriend to abuse and kill the child, and try to hide it and not report it to authorities.
    It’s not so much about protecting children as it’s about punishing those that do them harm.

  23. Kacey Bollrud July 12, 2011 at 2:16 am #

    We also have to remember that all the legislators carrying Caylee’s Law banners are doing so because it’s an almost no-lose situation for them. Rarely can a politician sponsor or vote on a bill that is not contentious, that does not alienate some percentage of his/her constituents. In contentious times, every politician in Tallahassee is racing to the Capitol with their own bill because it’s one way to make themselves look good in front of everyone & get really good press. It’s not all about being overprotective, it’s also about politics.

  24. katrina July 12, 2011 at 2:33 am #

    Scott, why do you think we wouldn’t care if our own child went missing?! Of course any of us would be devasteted if their child was abused or murdered. I don’t question your love for your children just because you let them be driven around in a car. You’re child is more likely to be killed while in a car than to be kidnapped.

    Every child’s death is a tragedy and it is natural to want to prevent anything from happening to our loved ones, But, we need to let our kids explore their worlds and realize what the real risks are and what things are less likely to happen. That is what this site is all about.

    I am sure you are a caring parent, as are the parents on this site. We apparently just have a different philosophy with regards to child safety.

  25. Cheryl W July 12, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    The problem I see is with young teens in particular, who may not want their parents to know where they are every minute, and who, unfortunately end up the victim of a crime.

    Sure, the murder, kidnapper, rapist, etc, would be charged, but so could the parent, even if they had nothing to do with the crime.

    I have a niece. Her parents are divorced, but live in adjacent trailer parks. She tells her parents that she is with the other, then goes out with friends. Who drink. This all came to light recently when a summons to appear in court came because she and friends whose car they were in were charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

    Instead of drinking, if there was a more sinister end, both of the parents could have been charged under this law. This does not mean that they are bad parents, they try hard to keep this girl under control, but for various reasons it is not working. The custody is split in 1/2, and the girl has learned how to take advantage of it. Yes, now the parents know to call the other. But before…they just didn’t know. No, she was not “missing” but I could see how the law could be perverted to hold everyone responsible for not “protecting” this girl, who is old enough to make her own decisions (legal or not), although they are not always good ones.

    And yes, I can see how this would apply to teens camping. Because our society says that we need to have constant supervision. The parent would be charged for not knowing the exact location every day, if something unfortunate happened while they were camping.

  26. Beth July 12, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I have dispatched for a variety of police departments over the last 15 years, albeit all in the same state, and not a single one has a policy of waiting 24-48 hours to take a report of or enter a missing person. Juvenile reports are taken immediately, and the information is entered into the national database. Even missing adults are entered quite quickly, though people calling in the middle of the night to report their significant other late getting home are often reminded that adults have the right to come and go as they please, and asked if they are willing to wait to report it til morning. Even in those situations, at minimum all the hospitals and the jail will be checked for the missing adult, and an attempt to locate aired.

    I don’t know if the 24-48 hours thing comes from TV, or if my state is just weird, but ..there you go.

  27. Heather Buen July 12, 2011 at 2:53 am #

    I agree with you. Most of the time people need to really think about what they are reading and signing/agreeing to. I know we all want to make a change but maybe the best thing we can do is strive to better parents and set an example to others.

  28. Beth July 12, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    Scott, since you were so disgusted by Larry’s post, maybe you could explain to us why Caylee Anthony’s death was/is so much more important than any other child’s death? Because that’s the point he was making.

  29. Larry Harrison July 12, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Okay Scott, apparently someone relieved themselves in your breakfast this morning, judging by your own “knee jerk” reactions.

    That said, what is so “disgusting” to you? My point is simple: a la Nancy DIS-Grace, this case was blown WAY out of proportion. There aren’t as many kidnappings etc as the media makes out to be, but there are some to be sure–and this isn’t the only one that happened. It’s receiving attention way out proportion to what it deserves based on that. This isn’t saying “a child went missing, so what?” This is saying–other children went missing, killed even, why should this one merit such a ridiculous level of attention?

    The same thing happened years ago withJonBenet Ramsay, I have no doubt she was NOT the only child that year who was murdered where the parents were suspected of being behind it. I have no doubt other such occurrences have taken place since, but not a word–but for the longest time, you couldn’t go to the bathroom in the middle of the desert at 3 a.m. without hearing JonBenet Ramsay, JonBenet Ramssay, JonBenet Ramsay. Heck it got to the point of “JonBenet’s mother was scene walking around Boston (or wherever) going to the ladies’ room in the mall” and “here’s a picture of JonBenet at age 2, pulling the socks off of her feet on the beach” blah blah blah blah blah. Heck, I’m surprised there weren’t JonBenet coffee mugs, caps, T-shirts and fanny packs.

    Also, the same thing happened with David/Laci Peterson and Mark Hacking. In Laci’s case, was she REALLY the first pregnant woman murdered by her husband? I doubt it, so why should she have received so much attention? Mark Hacking was suspected of killing his wife–so what? Was he the first husband suspected of such, or even the only one on the entire planet to do so that year? Therefore–why all the extra attention?

    It was sick, and in the same way, this is sick–equally as sick, to me, as the gruesome act itself was.

    LRH

  30. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    beth my point was it seemed that ‘its just another dead child, whats so special?” an apathetic, de-sensitized comment to me. really? is that what we are coming to?

    sure caylee’s case got more attention cause of her so called excuse for a mother and her actions. there are lpenty of other stories out there, haleigh cummings, shaynia davis, hailey dunn ect, and they get lots of press too. it doesnt mean they are less important they caylee. nor are the ones who dont get any press at all. it just seems, if we ignore caylee, we will find it ‘acceptable’ to ignore them all.

  31. Heather July 12, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Well in most states a child isn’t considered missing unless they have been missing for more than 24 hours. While I wouldn’t want to incriminate myself over this law, I think it is needed, but it needs to enforced with some common sense on lawmakers parts. If you have a teenager and a check in system. Yes, responsible parents shouldn’t be punished because some psycho failed to report her child dead for a month, but I also believe she should have been punished for her actions. It is a touchy situation.

  32. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    see my above larry

  33. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    I am in support of Caylee’s law. I do not like vague wording on laws and I will agree with that but I think we all knows that they are not going to go after kids being gone all day. That is not the case with Caylee. It is for parents who go days, weeks or months without reporting their kids missing in order to cover up what they did to their kids and hide the evidence. And as far as that I can agree.

    I would think it would be a crime for anyone who knew someone was missing to not report it. For adults too. If you know someone is missing, you report it. Simple enough. Failure to report it makes you look suspicious and even could make you a criminal if you did not report someone missing and they were harmed because of it.

  34. Danielle Ward July 12, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    As much as I agree with you, I don’t think a “timely manner” for a 13 year old is 7 hours.
    We’re talking about a mother who didn’t report her small toddler missing for 31 days. There’s a big difference there.

    I think that if your child is missing for 24 hours, you should be required by law to report it.

  35. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    heather that is for adults missing 24 hours not chidren.

    if people waited 24 hours to report there kids missing youd see alot more outrage then just the casey case

  36. Mike July 12, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    Set up a computer generated macro. Every 50 minutes, it autocalls the police nonemergency number: “This is an automated call in accordance with Caylee’s Law. (Date) (Time) my child (name) may have died in the last hour.” Save a recording of the call for evidence.

    That way, if a child does die, no matter when, the police have been notified within the last hour. No problem.

    If police departments nationwide get tens of millions of calls like this every day, maybe they’ll tell the legislature to knock it off. Yeah, I live in dreamland.

  37. MITBeta July 12, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    My problem with this law is that it won’t help keep any kids safe. Any parent who wouldn’t report their kid missing in a timely manner is not likely to obey the law either. If the point is to add an additional charge to the rap sheet in case the murder charge doesn’t stick, then that’s just stupid. We shouldn’t write laws to make sure that people go to jail for something, anything, if the prosecution can’t do its job properly on the murder charge.

  38. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    See to me, if my son is spending the weekend at his friend’s house and he does not report home on Sunday evening like he was supposed to then I report him missing then. That would be the start of when I knew he was missing. Even if he went actually went missing Sat morning. I didn’t know that. Now if I waited till Wed to report him missing on Sunday evening THAT would be a crime and be suspicious as all get out. If you thought they were someone safe and had no other reason to think otherwise, then it should not be a crime. So they would have to PROVE you knew they were missing and did not report it. Not just say “Oh they are gone 24 hours parents are going to jail.” When the parents did not find out till 5 hours ago.

    Still though I always checked in with my parents at least once a day when I was at someone’s house or on a trip. So in most cases the 24 hours should cover it just fine.

  39. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    Danielle, that might be what you think, and that’s very sensible, but a non-specific provision in the law can be interpreted any way someone wants to, for any reason they want to do it. If the police want to throw the book at someone for not reporting a missing teenager for six hours for some reason, such vague wording allows them to do it, regardless of what you or I think it “should” mean.

    If the law as proposed really only says “timely manner,” that’s a HUGE problem. If, however, that’s just some reporter or analyst’s shorthand for what it actually does say, then it’s not automatically such a bad thing, depending on what it says.

  40. LRH July 12, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    Like I said, I’m against it, because as the original poster illustrates, it potentially makes criminals out of people who aren’t. Also, as I stated, it’s ridiculous that people are responding to this case with such a level of emotion. It’s ridiculous. I mean really–assuming that there SHOULD be a requirement for reporting within that time-frame (and I’m not sure there should be), we failed to realize this until all of a sudden because of Casey Anthony now we do? Good grief, we weren’t capable of seeing it PRIOR to now?

    Caylee Anthony is NO MORE important than any other child who was murdered, and doesn’t deserve any special attention nor any special laws written in the aftermath of her murder. Same thing with JonBenet Ramsay and Laci Peterson.

    LRH

  41. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:19 am #

    absolutely dolly

  42. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    I agree with Scott. That was harsh Larry.

  43. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    MITBeta, I’m not in favor of piling laws upon laws in general either, but I think it might be going too far to say this would do nothing. A really pretty lousy parent might be tempted to put off reporting a missing kid for a day or two, in hopes that the kid will turn up, and in hopes that some illegal activity going on in their home or life won’t be noticed by the authority. The difference could theoretically save a child (assuming that the person who fails to report isn’t the person who’s covering up having done the murder.)

    However, I’ll grant that the circumstances of that would be fairly rare, and, especially in light of the Anthony case, what the heck difference would it have made, except, as you say, to give the court SOMETHING to punish her for? But it’s not like there even WAS a “missing child” to fail to report, if in fact she actually was the culprit, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense any way you slice it, except in the “let’s make someone we’ve taken a societal hatred to suffer” sense.

  44. Carrie July 12, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Another aspect of the proposed law is to make it a felony to not report a child’s death within one hour. I can think of circumstances where caregivers, who have done nothing to harm their child, are unable to or fail to report their child’s death within an hour. I read there is another aspect – people are trying to prevent parents of missing children from being able to profit, in any financial way, from the missing child. Seriously? You know, cause that happens all the time. Parents are constantly “losing” their kids so that they can make a bunch of money.
    Here’s another good piece about the problems with knee-jerk, reactionary laws like this.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/11/caylees-law-casey-anthony-_n_893953.html

  45. Violet July 12, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    The biggest violator with be the State of Florida itself. Kids are gone missing for years without Department of Children’s Services having a clue.

  46. anonymous July 12, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Teenagers and tweens are supposed to be learning to manage their own time and communicate with home using borrowed phones or whatever they need to. Then they get grounded if they don’t. This is so vague. It basically criminalizes one of the classic growth opportunities of youth: sneaking out, and getting caught and facing the music at home.

  47. anonymous July 12, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    Danielle and Dolly:
    IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK THE POLICE WILL DO!

    You should know that by now. Vague laws are an invitiation to prejudice against single mothers, people not living “normally”, gay parents, people of color, etc. THAT IS THE REALITY OF THE WORLD.

    This is reactionary stupidity – just like all the “can’t be alone at home until they are 18 laws”.

  48. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:28 am #

    some missing kids parents write books because its better healing for them to put it in words.

    others like the anthonys and mccanns do it to make blood money off the kids they murdreded

  49. LRH July 12, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    No Dolly it ISN’T harsh. The amount of attention paid to this case borders on the mentally insane. Casey refused a visit from her mother. Casey went to the bathroom while wearing her pink bra and green panties. Casey has a boyfriend from Nigeria who wants to ride her in a spaceship while touring Iceland. Casey’s mother is cheating on her husband with a 20 year-old who got Case pregnant but had her commit an abortion.

    Casey was tried, found innocent, end of story–so what? Do you think, in a country with over 250 million people, she was the first person to (apparently) commit a crime but be found not guilty? How about people who are on death row who were found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit? Do you REALLY think this case is THAT unique to be generating this much passion in people and to be the instigator of a law that, somehow, we never knew we needed until this very moment? Be still my beating heart, how nauseating all of this is.

    I submit to you that this isn’t about saving another child in the future, it’s about enjoying a freak show. And it’s called a freak show because only the freaks cares so damn much. The rest of us have better things to do than be seduced by an arrogant bimbo-blonde who couldn’t admit she was wrong about the Duke Lacrosse scandal and STILL makes her living with euphemisms like “tot mom.”

    LRH

  50. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    Now this failing to report a death with an hour I may disagree with. Does it specify that stillborns or miscarriages count as a “Death”? I have been fighting locally against some laws that try to make women who have miscarriages or stillborns go under scrutiny so that they would have to report to police during their time of pain and need and be investigated. That is something I VERY much disagree with. So I wonder what the fine print on that one is?

    Now sure, not reporting a 5 year old dead right away is wrong. Wouldn’t you be calling an ambulance the second your child got hurt?

  51. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Innocent?

    lets not be naive shall we?

  52. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:42 am #

    Larry: Since I don’t pay much attention to the news I actually had to look the case up after the verdict because I didn’t know anything about it. So no, obviously it was not that all over the place. I never heard about it till a friend on Facebook posted her outrage over the mother getting away with it.

    I do believe the mother did it. It was because it took so long to find the body that she got away with it. All the evidence was gone by then. Stuff like hairs, blood, fibers were long gone after a month. Now if the mother had to report her missing and they found her in a couple days, the mother might not have gotten off so easy. 3 years for killing a sweet little girl?! Not enough punishment!

    Caylee has no control over how things went down after her death. It is not her fault the media jumped all over it. She still deserves all the prayers and love that people have shown for her. So does every child. If you want to get mad at the media, go for it. But, don’t blame Caylee or her family for this media poostorm.

    If it bothers you so much, do like I do and stop watching the news. I hardly ever hear any of this crap because I choose to detach myself from it.

  53. Scott July 12, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    you from georgie or utah dolly?

    those laws/proposed lawys are absurd and uncosntituational

  54. LRH July 12, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    Dolly Yes, as you state, I have pretty much stopped watching the news for this very reason. I only knew about it because everytime I went to Yahoo!’s home page to view whatever, I kept seeing the name over & over. I still ignored it. Then someone–like you said–posted outrage over the verdict in the Facebook realm. Then I researched to find out about it, determining that it was basically JonBenet Ramsay all over again–then I actually replied in the post “I don’t care why people care so much about this one case.” In fact, I did that to very single friend who made a big deal about it. Believe it or not, we’re still friends–in real life as well as on the site.

    I do believe that most of the responses I’ve seen from people, and CERTAINLY the media’s way over-the-top coverage of every tidbit, it indeed about enjoying a freak show and nothing else. It’s the same deal that happened with JonBenet Ramsay 15 years ago, and I was saying the same things then I am now–that is, “what’s so special about her?”

    LRH

  55. Teri July 12, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    It really should be based on age. Obviously a 17 year old who is missing for 4 hours with mom’s car is not as big of a deal as a 2 year old who is missing for 4 hours. But, yes, “in a timely manner” does leave way too much open. It especially leaves too much open in custody cases. For instance, dad is supposed to have the kid for 2 weeks. Dad picks up the child and disappears, but mom doesn’t necessarily know that until 2 weeks later when the child isn’t returned. Is mom going to get in trouble for not reporting a problem within 24 hours? In my case, the ex has NEVER answered the phone when he had our daughter or allowed her to call me.

  56. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    I live near Georgia and that was the one I was talking about. I technically live in TN but have friends and family in GA and I was fighting for them!

  57. Scott July 12, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    if that law in georgia passes there will be a mass exodus of women from georgia.

    that would be more then just an ‘inquiry’. a woman would have to PROVE she didnt cause a miscarrige. if she doesnt she could get the death penalty

    how your supposed to prove you didnt i have no idea

  58. Jeanette Glass July 12, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    What about SIDS?

    My doctor, and his nurse wife, lost a daughter to SIDS a few years ago. Honestly, if there were ever parents who wanted a child more, or who took better care of thier child… well, I don’t know them.

    But by the time they woke up in the morning to discover thier daughter had passed away they were HOURS past the “one hour” deadline in this law.

    All it would take is a over eager DA, and … thier tragedy would be compounded to such a terrible degree it has no words.

  59. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    “Now if the mother had to report her missing and they found her in a couple days, the mother might not have gotten off so easy.”

    Dolly….think about it. She murdered her child, but she’ll be sure to obey the reporting law? Wouldn’t she risk getting nailed under the reporting law if that would make it more probable she’d get off on the murder?

  60. SKL July 12, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    Dolly, you think it should be a crime to not report an adult if you know he is “missing”? Aren’t adults free to leave without notice and never come back (assuming they aren’t leaving a legal duty undone)? So like, the co-worker who was rumored to run off with the delivery truck driver should have been reported to the police? What do you think the police should do if an adult decides to hit the road and keep on walking?

  61. SKL July 12, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    It’s not like a reporting law is needed to deter mothers from killing their children! Can we all agree that moms find plenty of reasons for not killing their kids, without the government writing new laws?

    And think about this. They want to do this because they feel like it could be a way to keep a Casey Anthony type in jail longer. (Like there are SO many Casey Anthony type moms walking around!!) Obviously they want this law to have TEETH. And that means lots of jail time, regardless of whether your kid is actually hurt or not. Are you still so sure you like this law?

  62. K July 12, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    LRH – point of law. One is either innocent or guilty. A separate issue is the jury’s verdict – the verdict can be guilty or not guilty. One cannot be found innocent by a jury. Not a lawyer – just a pedant.

  63. olympia July 12, 2011 at 5:22 am #

    I agree with you, LRH. I do think you could have stated things more delicately, but then again I wasn’t too delicate when I said to my mother (who’s obsessed with the Anthony case), “Don’t kids get murdered every day?” I do think the American public (can’t speak to other publics), gets played by the likes of the contemptible Nancy Grace, who will pick one case and teach her followers how to obsess on it- ignoring all the other sad cases out there.

  64. SKL July 12, 2011 at 6:00 am #

    Speaking of Nancy Grace – there was a little “disappeared” kid a few years ago – I wish I could remember his name – Nancy Grace had his mom on her show and tore her apart because she was so sure the woman had hurt and hidden the boy. The next thing you know, the mom has killed herself, and there went pretty much any chance of finding the boy. The boy’s dad is still looking for him, as far as I know. BTW, he was two, too. Nancy of course insisted she’d done the right thing by viciously accusing this mom on national TV. Needless to say I will not allow Nancy’s face on my TV screen for one split second, ever again.

  65. Heidi July 12, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    This law bothers me too, for all of the reasons already stated.

    Why haven’t I seen more about changing the law on how our courts give verdicts. Right now juries can only have ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty,’ right? Why can’t we add the option of: “not proven?” That way juries aren’t ‘forced’ to acquit people that they didn’t feel had enough evidence for a conviction, but that had too much circumstantial evidence for the reasonable person to feel they the defendant was totally innocent, like what happened with the Caylee Anthony trial (and has happened in many other cases before.) A court then could, if evidence was found at a later time, go back and try the defendant for the same crime. There would be no ‘double jeopardy’ for a ‘no proven’ verdict.

  66. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Yes Jeanette, I would think SIDS would be another thing they would have to make special exceptions for the rule.

  67. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Pentamom: I think the point is they could not get her for murder like they were supposed to due to her making sure the evidence was lost. However she would have gone away a lot longer for at least breaking the failing to report law and would not be able to walk the streets and have another baby soon, which she said she wanted to do!

  68. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    SKL: If an adult is suspected to be missing under unusual or possibly dangerous circumstances then you should report it. We had a woman vanish recently in our city and her husband acted like he thought she just ran out on him but her parents suspected her killed her and dumped her body. So it was a good thing they reported her missing so it can be investigated and so far the consensus is that he did in fact have her killed or killed her.

  69. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    SKL: She was only in jail for 3 years!!! That is not long enough to pay for what she did!!!! I support anything that would keep her in there longer! She is going to go out and party and get knocked up again and then probably kill or abuse the next one too. Anything that prevents that is a-ok in my book!

  70. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    You can bet if my husband just vanished even though he is an adult, I would be calling the police if he did not turn up within a couple hours. Why? Because he never leaves the house since he works at home and is not the type to just up and go somewhere. He leaves a note or tells me if he does. So I would wait about 2 hours and then I would start calling around to find him. After 4 hours I would be calling hospitals and jails and after 6 hours I would be filing a missing person’s report. Some people are very predictable and routine following and if something odd happens it doesn’t take long to realize foul play was involved. If it turns out he just decided to leave us with not telling us. Then the police can figure that out in their investigation, but I am not letting a murderer go unchecked just because he is an adult and might have left of his own accord.

  71. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    “You can bet if my husband just vanished even though he is an adult, I would be calling the police if he did not turn up within a couple hours. Why? Because he never leaves the house since he works at home and is not the type to just up and go somewhere. He leaves a note or tells me if he does.”

    Dolly — what if some other woman’s husband is the type to just up and go somewhere, without notice, and without the wife getting concerned because that’s just how they relate? So, he’s gone for a couple of hours and she doesn’t call the police, because it’s just normal. Does the fact that her marriage functions differently from yours and her husband has a different personality from your husband’s means she’s less caring, or something?

    The point is, just because in some circumstances one parent would naturally and properly be concerned within a short period of time and should probably take some steps, that cannot justify a law that would make a criminal out of a parent who is responsible about knowing where her kids are, but thinks nothing of dropping them off at the mall and not hearing from them for a few hours before suspecting something might be wrong.

  72. Donna July 12, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    The fact is that Casey probably would not have even been charged under Caylee’s law. A dead child is not a missing child. If they want to prosecute Casey for murder, they cannot simultaneously argue that Caylee was at some point a missing child.

  73. Lollipoplover July 12, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Aside from the Anthony case, making hasty laws based on emotions vs. logic is never a good idea.
    We were at the Jersey Shore over the weekend, where last month an 11yo girl fell off a Ferris Wheel and died. They now have a new regulation that you can’t go on the ride alone (in addition to the other regulations on height, age, etc.) and the family is suing saying there needs to be retraints on the ride. My son rode it with me. We talked about what happened to the girl, to which he replied “why does one person who didn’t follow the rules (standing up) have to ruin the fun for everyone?” This is a ride that has been there for 25 YEARS with no accidents.

  74. Donna July 12, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Dolly, you actually would not be reporting your husband missing after 6 hours because the police won’t usually take reports until 24 to 48 hours have passed. Even then, they aren’t going to investigate unless there is some thing other than a missing adult since adults are allowed to come and go whenever they want. And not all relationships are yours. Some people are not creatures of habit. Some couples don’t closely monitor each other. If my husband frequently works long hours without checking in, am I in violation if I don’t report him missing for 48 hours?

    Or even back to the kid realm. If I believe my teen has run off with a friend to the beach for the weekend against my prohibition so I don’t report her missing because I don’t want her to go to kiddie jail (I just plan to ground her for life when she returns) , am I in violation? If I’m right? If I’m wrong? Kids get prosecuted for “run away” all the time. Doesn’t this law kinda make parents HAVE to rat out their kids, when they’d rather deal with a discipline problem themselves, to save their own asses? Is that really how we want parents to be stuck parenting? Sending their kids to youth detention to save their own asses?

  75. Ann July 12, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I’m so glad you posted something about this. I’ve thought that law sounds so strange. I mean really… no reasonable mother of a young child is going to wait a month before reporting them missing. If you do wait a month (i.e. Casey Anthony), then you’ve probably done much more wrong than just not reporting it, and changing the law isn’t going to change that. In the Anthony case, if there had been a law to report children missing, would Casey have reported her missing earlier? No. Would she have been charged? Yes. What would change? Maybe she would get an extra few days in jail. It doesn’t change the fact that she got away with the bigger crime (murder or manslaughter). I just don’t understand what problem this law is trying to solve. People who truly believe their children are missing are going to report it. People who are trying to hide something they’ve done aren’t. This isn’t going to prevent another Caylee Anthony situation.

  76. Robin July 12, 2011 at 8:34 am #

    Wow. I can’t believe any of you would be supporting this kind of law. Isn’t this the same site that is against teens being charged with statutory rape by having sex with their girlfriends? That was a knee-jerk reaction that has had devastating consequences and we want to do that again? Any law that gets written in a hurry needs to be shelved for a while until the emotions die down and logic can take over.

    Larry, I agree totally with you. This case has become headline news for reasons I still haven’t figured out.

  77. Jenny Islander July 12, 2011 at 8:37 am #

    Cynical interpretation of the law is, “We need to find some way to get Mrs. Anthony for being lazy/trashy/too relaxed/too well dressed/whatever, so let’s make a law and retroactively charge her with it.”

  78. Lee July 12, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    I fear some of these responders – as is this proposed law – may be a symptom of the greater pathology of the ills that are troubling this country. Who deserves to be parents? Who deserves the rights of the constitution? Who deserves to live and breathe…as determined in the court of the parochial public opinion? Who is worthy of protection under the law?

    “After all…this is how I live, and how I believe EVERYONE else ought to live.” The result is a general psychosis that is gripping Salem…er, ah the US these days. Fear emanating from a rare case (fancy that) can lead to lightning speed legislation that would affect the rights and lives of millions. Should one not subscribe to what Nancy and her minions espouse, then one is highly suspect, if not downright vilified.

    We have indeed found politically how to effortlessly push a law through sans ANY scrutiny or concerns for collateral damage, false imprisonment, and future hysteria ; place out in front the name of an unfortunate child. Whoa to those who dare risk a nay vote. That would mean the career of said politico – and/or judge – would have the life duration of a housefly.

    Keep your curtains drawn, y’all. The Stepford’s have moved in next door. Soon to be mayor, editor, police Chief, and leader of the PTA. Do what they say or they’ll take you away.

    Face it, folks…laws like this are NOT designed to do anything but garner votes. The next politico in line will attempt to make the law tougher. It’s what we have evolved into.

    Gotta run now…can’t miss the tar and feathers sale at the Home Depot.

  79. Cynthia July 12, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Forgive me for skipping through the comments, but I had to respond to J-e-s-s at 2:13. S/he said, “It’s about giving courts more options and charges to bring against a person who is responsible for the death of their child and trying to hide it, or for allowing and a spouse, or boy/girlfriend to abuse and kill the child, and try to hide it and not report it to authorities.
    It’s not so much about protecting children as it’s about punishing those that do them harm.”

    This is EXACTLY why this law is such a bad idea. People should not be convicted for things that are not crimes just because there was not enough evidence to convict them of a crime. They may in fact be innocent (not saying Casey Anthony is). A preponderance of evidence is required in order to protect innocent people from being convicted. Does that let some guilty go free? Probably. But I would rather occasionally see a guilty man walk free (and in the a high profile case, spend the rest of his life under a cloud of suspicion) than see an innocent man imprisoned or executed. It’s kind of like free-ranging, actually. Bad thing could happen (guilty goes free). But it’s more important that innocent people are not locked up. It also means that the prosecution has to have a solid case, not just badger someone until they get a plea bargain. Can you tell I’ve been reading too many old Perry Mason books?

  80. Hineata July 12, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    @lollipoplover – off topic, but your son is so right! And how come people are able to sue over such silly things? A real tragedy for the individual family, but it sounds like their kid did something really dumb, like kids are apt to do sometimes, and suffered the sad consequences of it.
    Growing up, one of the boys in my class, whose dad was an agricultural contractor, one day decided to do just what dad had, many times, told him not to do – while dad had his back turned, junior decided to climb up and investigate the chute of a combine harvestor. Junior was nine at the time, old enough to know better, but a bit mischievous. Sadly, that was the end of junior’s adventures, but there was never any nonsense about suing the combine harvestor manufacturer. Just one very, very sad family…..No laws about farm equipment would have made any difference either.

  81. Marie July 12, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    @ Cynthia

    Thank you! It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s guilty, but that doesn’t make it right to write a law to make her guilty just because the other couldn’t be proven in a court of law. I’d far rather see Casey Anthony go free, right or wrong, than see parents who weren’t guilty of anything even have to worry about breaking “Caylee’s law” when something goes wrong.

  82. Silver Fang July 12, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I do not support laws named after dead children because they are almost always based on outrage and grief rather than on logic.

  83. Kasia July 12, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    There’s an article on the Time Magazine website criticizing this proposed law:

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/07/11/cayleys-law-crime-fighter-or-more-grief-for-mourning-parents-and-troubled-teens/?hpt=hp_c2

    A few highlights:
    “Consider some scenarios that might arise under Caylee’s Law. For instance, imagine that a child has just drowned — the scenario put forth by Anthony’s defense — after hours of attempts at resuscitation. What parent’s mind will be focused on notifying the police of the child’s death within an hour? Wouldn’t that small chore be forgotten, even by the most conscientious of parents, as they come to grips with the harrowing fact that efforts to revive their child have failed? Do we really want to add legal hassles to such parents’ overwhelming grief?”

    And:
    “Alternatively, consider what would happen if your teenager failed to come home one night. This utterly common occurrence would require you to file a police report to avoid felony charges under Caylee’s Law. Some versions of the proposal would limit its scope to children under 12, but if it were applied to all children, it would risk flooding the police with hundreds of thousands of useless missing-teen reports, tying up time that could be used to solve actual cases.

    And even in situations involving children under 12, many false alarms may result from perfectly innocent confusion over the specifics of custody arrangements, which could result in wasted police and court time.”

    Although most of the article focuses on the bureaucratic nightmare of such a law, they do spell out a lot of normal scenarios that would be criminalized with the passage of this law.

  84. SKL July 12, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    Dolly, you don’t seem to understand. This law will not affect Casey Anderson, the person who many believe actually killed her child and hid the evidence. It will ONLY affect parents whose kids are discovered to be absent in the future – most of whom will NOT have suffered at the hands of their parents.

    And yes, if someone goes missing AND you suspect foul play (of an illegal nature), you would file a report. But making a law forcing everyone to file just because they know someone is on an unexplained absence?

    I know you feel strongly about what people should do in certain circumstances. But that’s not a reason to make a law. Thats just now how it works in a “free country.” Funny thing is, even without a law, every sane parent with the least morals would report their kid missing if they believed the child could be in danger. So there is no need for a law forcing it. When a law isn’t absolutely needed for order and safety, it shouldn’t be enacted.

  85. Donna July 12, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    “It’s about giving courts more options and charges to bring against a person who is responsible for the death of their child and trying to hide it, or for allowing and a spouse, or boy/girlfriend to abuse and kill the child, and try to hide it and not report it to authorities.
    It’s not so much about protecting children as it’s about punishing those that do them harm.”

    But this law does neither of those things. A child that you just murdered and dumped in the woods is never actually missing. You know exactly where your child is. So unless we want a society where a child considered “missing” if the government doesn’t know where he or she is at all times, although mom and dad do, this law completely misses the mark of protecting the rare Caylees of the world.

    Kids who have been kidnapped or have run away are missing. Kids who have been murdered and dumped by their parents are not missing. You simply cannot be charged with both murder of a child and failing to report that same child as missing. The prosecution has to go one way or the other – the child was either kidnapped or ran away and the mother failed to report it or the mother murdered the child. The 5th amendment protects you from committing a crime when you fail to call the police to report that you just murdered someone and you can’t be forced to perjure yourself by reporting a dead child as missing. So there is no way that this law is compatible with a prosecution for murder of that same child.

    This law will allow the police to arrest the Casey Anthony’s of the world before proving the child has been murdered but ultimately the DA will need to decide to go with murder or this failure to report crime. The only people really prosecuted under this law are going to be crack heads who lose track of their children (probably already prosecuted under child cruelty laws), parents of runaways who don’t want them prosecuted so don’t report them missing and free range parents who don’t realize their children are missing for more than 24 hours because they don’t require them to check in more frequently.

  86. Heidi July 12, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    If this law was such a great idea, why didn’t we have it before? In general, laws that humans use to govern themselves are tried and true, like the golden rule. Of course, you can always find some silly law about not getting a fish drunk or something. IF this law had existed, would the outcome have been any different? Will it prevent some other stupid person from waiting 1 month to report a dead child? No, it will not. It will just mean that the taxpayers have the privilege of hosting that dummy longer in prison. It seems like people wished there was some technicality to snag Casey so she wouldn’t have been released – like Al Capone and the tax code. Can we prevent people from winning the Darwin Award or appearing in the Least Competent Criminal section of News of the Weird? Maybe that should be our goal.

    Spending hours talking about minutiae for the duration of the news cycle is the state of the media. Things get blown way out of proportion. Nancy Grace and the other judgmental haters wouldn’t be on TV if people didn’t watch it. Our popular culture caters to the lowest common denominator and it seems to get lower all the time. The few outlets that do in-depth reporting aren’t rewarded for it. I am very grateful they exist.

    I was so tired of the OJ case. I never saw the point in discussing it. I think there should be a law against making a huge media circus out of court cases. So here’s this woman who was acquitted and there are people who heard about the case that want to KILL her and the jurors. That’s not good for society. We have rule of law, not mob rule.

  87. ValerieH July 12, 2011 at 10:17 am #

    Here’s another article that makes pretty much the same point

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com:80/2011/07/11/caylees-law-casey-anthony-_n_893953.html

  88. meghann July 12, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    OK, forgive me if someone else has already gone over this – because I didn’t get through more than three comments before it hit me:

    How does *anyone* think this makes anyone safer? If you haven’t reported your kid missing, no one knows your kid is missing to arrest you for not having reported him or her missing soon enough. If you don’t report your kid missing for a week, this law doesn’t miraculously make those in charge of the world aware that your kid is missing after 24 hours so they can do a search sooner & hopefully find your kid alive. There isn’t any way this can possibly be twisted around to sound like it *might* make someone safer – it’s something addressed after the fact, and really, if you killed your kid & buried her in a swamp, making *not reporting her missing within 24 hours* a felony isn’t likely to appeal to your sense of lawfulness so that you report her missing sooner than a month after the fact.

    Most of these kind of laws you can at least understand where people are coming from, thinking it might have changed a tragic course of events if only something like this had been in place, but really, this wouldn’t have changed a damn think about Caylee Anthony’s situation; it just would have been another charge tacked on for her mother.

  89. meghann July 12, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    @SKL: Trenton Duckett. His mother, Melinda, was a family friend of a friend of mine; I remember they were all just devastated when her son disappeared and then moreso when she killed herself.

    Nancy Grace said that “guilt” made Melinda kill herself. (I say Nancy Grace is an asshat.)

  90. Let Your Child Fail July 12, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    I love the way the writer so clearly lays out the flaws contained in this proposed law. Laws should be written based on sound logic. This law is based on reactive emotion to two events the proposers can’t change. 1) Caylee’s unfortunate death. 2) Caysee’s verdict of not guilty.

    Passing this law will not bring Caylee back to life nor will it make Caysee guilty.

    What it will do is take away our children’s independence and ability to roam freely without constant parental overprotection and interference.

  91. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    pentamom: I was responding because I said that if someone suspects an adult is missing in foul play they should report it and would be a criminal if they didn’t report it. If a husband comes and goes regularly, then there would be no reason to suspect foul play when he is gone for a while. Whereas in my case, it would be. That is why I do think the law should have exact wording and not be vague because every family is different all people are different. However, if someone knowingly refuses to report something suspicious than they are guilty.

  92. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Donna: If your teenager runs away with a friend to the beach and you know it, then I would think you would pack yourself in the car and go get her and drag her back. That is EXACTLY what my friend’s mom did to her when she lied and said she was going to a dance convention when really it was Spring Break. When her mom saw her on MTV she jumped in the car and drove all night to get her. Then made her come home with her. Now that was a real punishment. She embarassed her in front of all her friends that were down there and totally showed she meant business and ended her fun right then and there.

  93. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    Kasia Your example about the child drowning doesn’t hold water (sorry for the pun). If a child drowns you are going to call 911. Someone will call 911. That notifies ambulances, police and fire rescue squads. So right there it is automatically taken care of. Now if you are some weirdo who won’t call 911 and won’t let your child receive medical care when they clearly need it, well then I guess you will have to go out of your way to notify the police. But with funeral homes or medical examiner coming to pick up the body, etc I am pretty sure that somehow some kind of authority will get notified.

  94. Cheryl W July 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Doesn’t anyone here (and apparently the rest of the Facebook world) watch Frontline or listen to NPR?

    Just a week or two ago they did pieces on parents and caregivers who were charged with the deaths of their babies/toddlers in large part because those who did the autopsies were A) sure that if a baby died it had to be someone’s fault, B) medical examiners in the US are not trained or even required to be certified to do autopsies on babies.

    Or what about the ones by NPR examining the shortage of medical examiners around the country so that people are getting charged wrongly for even adult deaths, or, conversely, the actual murderers not getting charged at all because the medical examiner was minimally qualified, if at all, and missed key evidence.

    What about all those family members? Children who died of natural causes but the parents put in jail, siblings adopted off never to be seen again or one parent in jail for most of the life of the siblings? What are we going to do about them? Do we need a law for them? This proposed law leads to more kids without families because of unfortunate events and incompetent people.

    But, as some here have said, if you are not for this law, you MUST be all for killing kids.

  95. Bob Davis July 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    The proposed law is what I call “barn door legislation”, because it’s like locking the barn door after the horse is long gone down the road.
    Regarding Nancy Grace: not having cable TV I had never heard of her until she (or an actress playing her) appeared in “Boston Legal” (a.k.a. the “Denny Crane Show”). Then I saw her mentioned as a major “scaremonger” in “Free Range Kids: the book”. Finally, yesterday, Robert Rector, an “editor emeritus” of our local newspaper, really took Ms. Grace to task, citing a long history of questionable prosecution activity. To quote his column: “Take a zealous prosecutor, give her a television show and the freedom to hound a defendant without restrictions of due process, and you have Nancy Grace, an avenging angel wrapped in the flag of truth, or at least her version of it.” Then the columnist adds the key to the whole phenomenon: “The ratings for Headline News have soared as a result of Grace’s trial coverage.”

  96. LRH July 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    I’m not big on Time magazine per se, but I couldn’t agree more with every aspect of that article.

    LRH

  97. LRH July 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Oh, PS–I located the Robert Rector article mentioned by Bob Davis, here it is:

    http://www.whittierdailynews.com/opinions/ci_18446534

    LRH

  98. Shawn July 12, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    So the amazing exceptions cited should mean the law should be crafted carefully. I believe in free range kids but I also believe in balance. I don’t believe a zealous prosecutor is going to arrest someone whose kid is back-packing Europe and not calling every day. But I do believe not reporting a missing child who is totally dependent is child abuse. I would like to see some consequence for folks who are truly negligent and don’t report. Simple.

  99. LRH July 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    I submit that, rather than “amazing exceptions,” there just shouldn’t be a law. If it wasn’t necessary before Caylee, it wasn’t amazing after. That it would be considered necessary only now, after all of this time, over one isolated case, means that people are being too “case respondent,” that is, crafting a law that covers all scenarios just because it happened one-time in a high profile case that received a level of attention way out of balance vs what it really deserved. If we didn’t need such laws before, how do we all of a sudden supposedly need them now?

    LRH

  100. LRH July 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Darn typos–I meant to say it wasn’t NECESSARY after.

    This reminds me of when they made manufacturers change the design of gasoline cans after some kids got a hold of them & were killed (I forget if it was due to a fire or poisoning from swallowing etc), but now you can’t find a decent gasoline can except at garage sales. No disrespect meant, but what did those kids’ deaths mean to me in terms of me having to tolerate this silly design? No difference here that I can see in terms of haste of law creation over 1 specific situation.

    LRH

  101. OKLAHOMA July 12, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    Is “Caylee’s Law” a bad idea?

    All you have to do is look at the laws on the books that are named after dead children.

    http://cfcoklahoma.org/New_Site/is-caylees-law-a-bad-idea

    Answer: Very bad idea.

  102. Selby July 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Casey Anthony’s trial was not about justice for the victim. It was a criminal trial to prove someone had committed a crime. And there wasn’t sufficient, hard, admissible evidence beyond reasonable doubt to prove that. All they could do was prove she was a liar. She walked.

    A civil trial is about justice for the victim, in other words, if the estate of Caylee Anthony sued Casey Anthony for wrongful death, which is unlikely to happen given that she was a child.

    The justice system is based on the premise that you are innocent until proven guilty (NOT the other way around), by admissible evidence (NOT the media’s spin on it), beyond reasonable doubt (NOT according to what’s in your gut). The system worked, the jury did its job, but rest assured, nobody left that courtroom feeling good. And dropping this piece of kneejerk, impassioned legislature may soothe our collective guilt over a child’s senseless and undeserved death…but as somebody so eloquently put it above, it’s not going to bring Caylee back, and it’s not going to prove Casey guilty. It’s unlikely to save any other children in the future, it’s likely to cause a lot of trouble, and it’s a really, really bad idea.

    In our collective gut we’d like a law that mandates permanent sterilization for Casey Anthony, but that’s unlikely to happen either….

  103. SKL July 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Dolly, suppose something that isn’t terribly rare: the neighbors are a childless couple who fight a lot. He yells a lot, she cries a lot. One day I stop seeing her around, and he says she’s staying with a dying friend or relative. Maybe true. Maybe she got fed up and found the strength to leave him, with no forwarding address thankyouverymuch. But, there’s that slight possibility that he offed her and hid the body. Considering that in the USA people are innocent until proven guilty, I decide to keep my mouth shut but just watch out of the corner of my eye for odd behavior. So am I a criminal?

  104. SKL July 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Oh, and I forgot to add – if the cops do find her and notify the man of her whereabouts – is that better or worse than leaving the matter alone??

  105. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    SKL: I would keep my eye out since I really don’t know them and have no idea what is going on. Now if it was my best friend and she just vanished without a word to me, then yes, I would call the cops in that situation because I would not trust the husband if I really thought he was capable of doing something like that and I would think she say something to me before leaving or contact me at some point.

    It is hard making laws that cover all situations that is why if the law passes I think the wording on it needs to be exact and not vague and make room for exceptions. However in general I feel its wrong to not report someone missing if they are believe to be truly missing and under suspicious circumstances. Just like that lady locally whose husband says she left him but her parents did not buy it and reported her missing. I think they did the right thing.

  106. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Selby: Now THAT is a law I will get behind-forced sterilization for Casey. She is going to have another child and that is why she needs to be in jail to prevent that. Even if she doesn’t kill the next one she is still going to suck as a mother. I doubt someone who killed their baby girl can all of a sudden become Mother of the Year.

  107. Dolly July 12, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    I mean come on! Does anyone actually think she is totally innocent and had nothing to do with her daughter’s death? I think this is just like OJ in that we ALL know she did it and they are as guilty as sin, but they get off on technicalities. It stinks and I can understand why the public is so upset about it. If she paid the price for the crime, everyone would be satisfied and stop talking about it.

  108. SKL July 12, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    Dolly, I agree regarding what I would do if that happened to my friend. Nearly everyone would do the same thing. A law therefore is not necessary. A law would just create trouble. Suppose in my example that a dead body was found. If there were a law like that, the cops would have to go down a whole list of people who had nothing to do with the crime, and decide which of them should be questioned / prosecuted for not reporting. All that knowing that even if every friend and neighbor reported her missing, she would still be dead!

    Now suppose you’re a busy woman, not home much, and you honestly didn’t even notice the woman wasn’t around. Do you want to be questioned by the cops and have to defend yourself and hope they believe your story, lest you lose your kids and get thrown in jail?

    My friend from China knows what it’s like to watch your every move because your neighbors or friends feel the need to report even suspicions and unconventional behavior. My friend personally witnessed two suicides due to neighbor reports of anti-communist opinions. It is a scary world when the neighbors are afraid to NOT report you. I really don’t believe you’re thinking this through.

  109. Lollipoplover July 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    @Hineata- The logic that by creating a new law, you can somehow correct a perceived injustice can go so wrong.
    The investigation into the 11yo girl’s death determined that she died because she was riding alone. So, if someone was with her, would they be at fault because she didn’t follow the rules of NO STANDING and did something stupid? I guess it’s easier to make a new law than to tell grieving parents that the cause of death was because their child did something wrong.

  110. LRH July 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    SKL That is exactly correct. Call me a jerk if you want, and maybe in some ways this is even anti-free range (in terms of “community,”) but I can tell you that whatever my neighbors are doing, as long as it’s not noisy and thus intruding into my space and tainting my enjoyment of my space, I don’t care what they’re doing. If they were bringing over a 23 year-old call girl to “entertain” their 13 year-old son (assuming they have a 13 year-old son), I’d look the other way in total indifference. Now, I wouldn’t LIE about it if asked, assuming I was able to tell what was goingo n, but I would totally mind my own business otherwise.

    And I expect the same courtesy in return, too.

    The thing is, once I’m home, I’m “off duty” as it were. I’m home to relax and enjoy my own environment, and to be left the fuck alone. That’s it. I’m not a private investigator and I’m not interested in being one.

    Now, granted, if they were butchering slaves over there or raping 12 year-old girls right in broad daylight to where you couldn’t miss it, yes–at some point, even in this situation, I’d call the police. Obviously you don’t to be an enabler of evil. Otherwise–I’m home, I’m here to raise my children and relax otherwise on MY PROPERTY, so it’s “hear no evil, see no evil” all the way.

    And as for “do you really think Casey Anthony is innocent and that’s why people are upset”–again, she’s not the only one, what’s so special about her to where we’re focusing on JUST HER ALONE? That’s just nuts. It’s a freak show for freaks to enjoy, nothing more–and Nancy DisGrace is laughing all the way to the bank & the ratings bonanza fed by this silliness.

    LRH

  111. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

    Dolly, do you not yet understand that Casey, as Donna explains, could not have been charged under this law because her daughter was never missing? NO murderer could ever be charged under this law, because the murderer always knows exactly where the victim is?

    If this law had been in effect, and she had reported her missing after the deadline, and been charged, the charges would have been dropped when she was charged with the murder, because someone cannot be charged with a crime that never occurred, no matter how much we hate her. And if Casey was murdered by her mother and was never actually missing, *there was no missing child not to report in a timely fashion,* therefore she could not have committed the crime of “failing to report.”

    So besides the point that making emotionally driven laws because we just want someone to suffer is a bad idea generally, you should realize that even your emotional reaction could not possibly have been satisfied even had this law been in effect.

  112. LRH July 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

    Yes pentamom exactly correct. And as the original poster states, what about teenagers who skip-out and run off with their friends without permission? If the parent wants to handle it some other way, that is THEIR business and no one else’s, not the police’s either–yet it seems people want the police to handle EVERYTHING these days. It shouldn’t surprise us, since anymore even things like a child vandalizing a desk is considered a “police” matter. Good freaking grief. People are WAY too eager to involve the police in every little thing, and to pressure others to do likewise, and it’s ridiculous.

    And forgive me for being an asshat, but anyone THIS preoccupied and upset over this ONE single case to the exclusion of everything else, as if this is the first time in our entire history that someone was found not guilty but people feel otherwise, and that this deserves THIS much attention even to the point of drafting legislation over it or advocating it, they are behaving like nothing less than an outright mentally deranged lunatic straight out of Bellevue hospital. They seriously need psychiatric help. I mean it.

    LRH

  113. mme6546 July 12, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    so, ok…dolly…you repeatedly refer to the “exceptions” that should somehow be written into this law. if an adult comes and goes a lot…thats an exception….but what is a lot? twice a week? 10 times? who’s to codify whats “a lot” before a spouse is guilty of “criminal non-reporting”?

    as far as the teen on spring break…again we have an “I would think you would do X” scenario, wherein the only “right” way to handle it is….whatever you or your friends do/did.

    again with the child drowning….” If a child drowns you are going to call 911. SOMEONE will call 911…” “right there it is automatically taken care of…”
    except its not.
    what if you’re at a swimming hole and dont have a phone?
    “everyone has a phone…SOMEONE would have a phone…”
    what if, like a friend of mine, when tragedy strikes you suffer an immediate break with reality and sit for 12 hours sobbing and holding the body of your baby?
    should you be charged?
    “of course not…we will write in an exception…”

    how long does she get, dolly? how long does my screaming weeping friend get to have her psychotic break? does she have to be “evaluated” by someone to make sure her grief passes muster? to make SURE this broken woman is, in fact, broken?
    “but casey anthony wasnt grief stricken!!!….”

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT CASEY ANTHONY!!
    its not about caylee anthony either.

    this is about FEAR. and because we as a society no longer have the ability to whistle past the graveyard….
    because we succumb to fear, we are CONDITIONED with fear everyday…it is our leash, our bane, our lord and master….when we feel fear SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!!1111

    AND THAT’S WRONG.

    we are encouraged to fear because fear is profitable…we buy stuff to keep us “safe.”

    we are encouraged to fear because fear makes us tractable…we willingly do whatever is currently deemed best to keep us “safe”.

    “do it for the children”

    we are encouraged to fear because fear is distracting….we pay inordinate amounts of attention to things like the anthony trial, and ignore whatever else we could be up in arms over…taxes, perhaps?war? corruption? we dont have the time or the energy. someone somewhere just gave a toddler a happy meal, damnit, and now they are on the Road To Obesity!
    SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!!!

    and when we see others who are not ruled by those fears we are encouraged to be angry….resentful…OFFENDED…

    “how dare they, who do they think they ARE letting their children run all over like that, dont they know what could HAPPEN….”

    “that pregnant woman is drinking WINE!!!”

    “she didn’t even seem to CARE about all that processed sugar, she just gave him the Oreo!”

    “and he was smoking! right where children could SEE him!! doesn’t he know they could DIE from that?!?”

    and we as a populace are encouraged to COMPEL those without those fears to at least conform to OUR fear based actions…
    we not only react to fear for ourselves, we react to fear for OTHERS….violently, if needs be. because to ignore fear, ignore risk, ignore the possible CONSEQUENCES of actions is…wrong?

    “THEY MIGHT TAKE IT TOO FAR!!! DO STUPID OR WRONG THINGS!!!SOMEONE WILL GET HURT!!ITS WRONG!!!”

    wrong?
    really?
    well….that’s how everyone acts.
    If you see someone committing the sin of risk…..do you itch to go correct them? to go say “dude…your kid is down at spring break….don’t you know what could HAPPEN down there? shouldn’t you go get them, even if you have to drive all night, miss work, poss. lose your job….how could you even THINK about your job…your child’s LIFE is in DANGER!!!!11oneoneone!”

    I suffer from severe anxiety. I lurk here because I aspire to be free range not just in my actions….but in my REACTIONS. because it gives me something to look up to, a guideline to follow, a means test for fear.
    I have PTSD. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, stemming from an attack. its not just my conscious that’s ruled by fear, its my BRAIN. my body. my involuntary reactions. watch fireworks? ugh. with every loud noise I’m wound tighter and tighter, no matter how “safe” I know myself to be. ride a roller coaster? be in a crowd? hear anything loud/unexpected/creepily quiet/UNIDENTIFIABLE?
    fear. physical visceral fear.

    just about the only thing I DON’T fear is death.
    I eat what I want, when I want. stress keeps me thin-ish, lol, the only thing its good for. I smoke cigarettes (in a small locked room with an outside venting fan away from all normal pple, so its ok) and I drink, as long as my husband is home to be the “designated adult” in case of any emergency.

    I fight fear every single goddamn day.
    and I’ll be damned if I’ll sit here and watch OTHER PEOPLE’S fear become law.

    accidents happen. tragedy isn’t just for Shakespeare.
    BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE FOR NO REASON….. and yes….sometimes those good people are the little ones.

    and its horrible and wrong and wretched and THERE’S NOTHING THAT ANYONE CAN DO TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE!!!!!

    even in a padded enclosed box with no sharp edges, you could always run out of air….or go mad…..

    this law is yet another attempt to put the world in that box.
    as such, I am against it.

  114. Nicole July 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    “we’d like a law that mandates permanent sterilization for Casey Anthony, but that’s unlikely to happen either”

    I just can’t believe that you’re seriously saying that. I have no words.

  115. Beth July 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    I agree with those who point out that, if someone has no qualms about being a murderer, they probably won’t worry all *that* much about not reporting a child missing/dead.

  116. Cheryl W July 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Dolly, WTH? You want this woman sterilized??? The jury could not convict her with the evidence they had! Given all the uproar, I am sure that somehow, someone will bring a civil trial against her or will appeal somehow. (Think OJ.) What decade are you living in? I thought forced sterilization fell out of favor after Hitler.

    You need to think more carefully about your gut reactions. Think how you would feel if something happened to your child – say a car accident that MAY or MAY NOT have been YOUR fault. (Lets say that the police and insurance company could not assign blame – rainy road, ice.) Think of being 22 with that dead child and how maybe, later, at a stronger point in your life, you may want to have another child.

    But then, by your thinking, you might get behind the wheel of another car and kill that child. Sterilization it is!

  117. Library Diva July 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    Selby, thanks for that breath of common sense. Emotions got incredibly distorted over this case. I haven’t followed it, but my Facebook feed is filled with folks who have, and have passionate opinions, and are busy leaving their porch lights on for Caylee, posting little poems about Caylee, and yes, posting this link about Caylee’s Law. I’m tired of hearing about this case as well.

    Instead of focusing on a freakish case, what about the real outrages that go on all around us every day? What about sky-high dropout and illiteracy rates? Why not worry about something that will affect you? I highly doubt that Casey Anthony is going to come to any of our houses and kill our children. But an illiterate high-school dropout who turned to a life of crime after the schools failed him or her?

    The Casey Anthony case should have remained a family tragedy and a matter for the justice system. Instead, it’s been turned into a three-ring-circus. I think what’s truly outrageous is all of the people profiting from the death of a little girl, either in ratings or in reputation. Whoever sponsored “Caylee’s Law” belongs in the same sordid attention-seeking category as Nancy Grace.

  118. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    Good point, Cheryl. In saying that Casey should be sterilized, Dolly is saying that she wants to live in a world where people who are not convicted of a crime can be sterilized because public opinion, or some judge, decides they’re a bad mother — based on evidence that a jury did not find compelling enough to convict her on.

    NOT a good way to think, Dolly. I’m assuming you actually DIDN’T think it through, but that’s what it adds up to.

  119. pentamom July 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm #

    I also want to throw in my lot with the “why the heck is this one story a big deal” people.

    It’s horrible, horrible, tragedy every time it happens.

    And children die at the hands of their mothers (and I will go with those who say she probably was guilty) hundreds of times per year in this country. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

    There was a story right here in my city about a woman who allowed her toddler to starve to death and then hid the body for weeks and tried to put it out with the trash, just a couple of months ago. (Had firefighters not been responding to a call next door and noticed something really funky about that old suitcase, no one would have ever known what happened.) I can pretty much guarantee you will not hear that story except from me, unless you Google it. It’s not “big news.” Caylee is. Go figure.

    But precisely because it’s so horrible that it happens so often, how did this case EVER get so special?

    Actually, I know the reason for that, I think. Same reason Laci Peterson was somehow unique as (you would think) the only woman murdered by her husband in the last hundred years.

    Because whenever a person goes (supposedly) missing, it speaks to our deepest fears. When someone goes missing, we all think of the dread we have of a loved one being missing. I think at some level, this frightens us a lot more than the idea of a loved one dying or being murdered before our very eyes, because of the “unknownness.”

    So all these stories start out as missing person stories, get splashed all over the headlines and airwaves because of that element, and then when it turns out it was just another domestic murder (which is actually a sadly COMMON situation), we’re hooked. Obviously Nancy Grace or anyone else isn’t going to DROP the story when it turns out that we know what happened, so we follow it through to the end, and somehow Caylee and Laci get some bizarrely unique status relative to all the other murdered children and wives in the world — and their murderers or suspected murderers become the worst criminals in recorded history, instead of the really pretty common types they are.

  120. Nicole July 13, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    It also helps that they’re white little girls, and so the media is more interested in showing their stories.

  121. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 12:51 am #

    Murderers don’t deserve to have kids. I can’t believe anyone is arguing that. This is going on that I do believe she murdered her little girl.

  122. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 12:55 am #

    Cheryl: If I was drunk as hell and then put my kids in the car and then wrecked and killed them, damn right I should be sterilized. I obviously don’t know how to properly care for children. Now if I just had a common car accident, of course not. I find it funny that people on this site think that no matter WHAT a parent does, they still no matter what deserve their kids. Murder their kids? Sure, they can have more. Pass out drunk in their bed and their toddler wanders off and drowns in a pool? Sure, they can have more kids. They are some people who don’t need or deserve children. That is not an anti-free range idea. That is a common sense ideal.

  123. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 12:56 am #

    well if dolly believes it, thats good enough for everyone.
    out with her uterus!!!!
    hell… she should be circumcised too, while we’re at it….why should she get to enjoy sex when she killed her baby!!
    and cut out her tongue too…..her baby doesn’t get to taste food, why should she!!!!

  124. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    who the hell are YOU to decide who does and who does NOT “deserve” children?!?!?

  125. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    Did any of you read the interviews from the jurors? The jurors said they believe she is guilty but could not convict due to lack of evidence. So no one is saying she is innocent. They are saying she got lucky.

  126. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 1:00 am #

    Ok, you win. Let murderers adopt kids and have kids. Let drug addicts have kids and adopt kids. Let criminally insane people have kids and adopt kids. I am sure that will work out just fine.

  127. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 1:03 am #

    I dont care if it was an interview with the pope! what kind of person are you to say that you can remove a persons body parts out of moral judgment?!?!?!?!?!? seriously, lady….what the hell is wrong with you?!?!?!?!? lets say she is guilty….and the prosecution didnt do a good enough job, or she was just too smart for them, or daddy knew someone….WHATEVER….you’re saying that without anything other then your own moral surety she should forcibly undergo SURGERY to remover her reproductive ORGANS?!?!?!?

    dude…after THAT comment I hope YOU dont have kids!!!

  128. Beth July 13, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    @mme6546 Dolly gets to decide because she “rules” and “rocks” (her words, as regular readers of this site know) and everything the thinks is the only way to think, and if anyone disagrees with her they are wrong. Dolly has pointed out time and time again that she decides who is and who is not a good parent, based on whether or not actions taken are Dolly’s way or not.

  129. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 1:04 am #

    dear god….now murderers, drug addicts, and insane pple are all the same thing!!!!!
    :: headdesk ::
    :: headdesk ::
    :: headdesk ::
    :: headdesk ::

  130. Nicole July 13, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    If the jurors could not convict due to lack of evidence then she is innocent. There is nothing you can do about it, this is how the justice system works. Whether she is innocent or guilty, there is absolutely no way that she should be forced to be sterilized. Forced Sterilization has been recogized as a Crime Against Humanity. Go look up Eugenics if you want to know more, but understand the gravity of your statement.

  131. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    dude….i….just….

    holy crap.
    she makes my brain hurt.

  132. SKL July 13, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Dolly, you hate the fact that sometimes our justice system protects the guilty. We all hate that.

    Where we disagree is that making more laws and taking away more freedoms will make life in the USA better.

    None of us wants to see Casey have another kid. But because she was found NOT GUILTY (a fact which will not change no matter what), SHE would not even be subject to the law you propose. Those (extremely rare) women who are in fact found GUILTY of murdering their child are very unlikely to have another chance to raise a child, just given the logistics of being in prison for a long time.

    A sterilization law will not bring Caylee back to life, and it won’t apply to Casey. Unless you think all people found NOT GUILTY of harming their child should be sterilized.

    Now picture the writing of this suggested law. “Hm, which crimes should make a person eligible for this punishment? Intentional, premeditated murder? Why not passion killings? How about accidental deaths – after all, who’s to say the mother won’t make the same mistake again? How about folks who merely neglected or abused their child who’s still alive, since after all, who wants to see that happen to another child? Let’s go one further and include folks who WE THINK neglected or abused their child, even if we don’t have enough evidence to convict.”

    Keep in mind that even if such a law is passed, it does not stop anyone from hurting their younger sibling, niece, nephew, grandchild, neighbor kid, the noisy baby in the restaurant or the little brat who tramps over their lawn every morning.

  133. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 1:19 am #

    Mme: I do have kids.

    So I guess you are all completely against any kind of child welfare laws then? Since you think its okay for anyone to have kids and raise them regardless of how many crimes they have committed, how mentally disturbed they are or how dangerous they are? Wow….that makes me just go Wow. So I guess if Jeffrey Dahmer were still alive, you would have no problem with his having several kids and raising them?

    I am not talking about this specific case. I am talking in general. I do believe she did kill her daughter and in that case does not deserve to have more kids. I am not the one to make that call because I am not an elected official or lawmaker or law enforcement but I can have my own damn opinion about it. But, it sounds like most of you are arguing that everyone has a right to parent no matter what and that is just absurd. Do you really want kids raised by criminally insane people? By murderers? By rapists? By psychos?

  134. Nicole July 13, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    Having someone raise a child or not versus going into their body and depriving them of the ability to ever reproduce are two very different things, Dolly.

    Criminally insane people, convicted murderers and rapists don’t raise children – they are taken in and raised by foster families or by their relatives. So I don’t really understand your point.

  135. SKL July 13, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    By the way, I’m reasonably confident that a convicted child murderer is already unable to adopt a child. So your main concern that could be addressed with a sterilization law would be that the following person might get pregnant:

    a woman who murdered her child (very rare);
    who got out of prison before she was too old to have more kids (more rare);
    who wanted to have kids, and found someone to hook up with before she got too old to have kids (hopefully more rare).

    AND your argument assumes that such a woman would, after all the years of prison and somehow finding a man willing to create a life with her, she would put her next kid in danger.

    OK, then using that logic, should we not prevent all murderers from ever again being in the situation that they were in when they murdered (keeping in mind that most murders are crimes of passion)? So none of them can ever cohabitate again if they killed their spouse/girlfriend, and a rapist isn’t even allowed a one-night stand. (Just chop it off! Even if it was statutory rape. Why take the risk?) And people guilty of vehicular homicide can never drive again. And anyone who held up a 7-11 is never allowed in a store again.

    See, laws have to stand up to a test of logic. Not emotions.

  136. Jeanette Glass July 13, 2011 at 1:26 am #

    Dolly, on July 12, 2011 at 06:55 said:
    “Yes Jeanette, I would think SIDS would be another thing they would have to make special exceptions for the rule”

    Dolly, the point is that if *I* – off the top of my head – can think of one exception, there are many, many more… and the law will be either unenforcable, or the only people that it will be used against are people who’s lawyers aren’t smart enough/well informed enough/diligent enough to find one of these loopholes to shove thier client through. THAT’s the kind of law you want?

    As for your suggestion of eugenics… well. I do think that some people should choose not to have children, but the state CAN NOT take an active role in that. Living in Alberta, there are still victims of eugenics living here. It was a terrible thing to do to people, and it was done disproportionately to the poor, to Ukrainians, to Catholics, and to visible minorities. This was still being done to people during my lifetime.

    More reading here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta_Eugenics_Board

    The Sterilization Board routinely sterilized people for such reasons as: “her IQ score, her Irish-Polish background, her Catholic religion, her presumed inability to raise children properly and the fact that she had shown definite interest in the opposite sex.” (The reasons Leilani Muir was sterilized – Muir was the first person to successfully sue the government for wrongful sterilization, and was awarded nearly $1 MILLION).

  137. SKL July 13, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Oh and Dolly, my cousin is being raised by a psycho mom. Far as I know, she isn’t criminally insane or whatever, but she’s not as good of a parent as I consider myself to be. Too bad! God decided to put her in charge of a soul. As it happens, I saw that soul yesterday (she’s 19 now) and it looks like her mom has done a pretty good job, in spite of her mental illness.

    Thing is, sometimes we don’t get to decide (legally or otherwise) how things should be in other people’s lives. We’re just glad we get to decide what happens in our own lives, most of the time. I’d like to keep it that way.

    Oh, and I’ve had people say I shouldn’t be a parent because I spank, because my kids are a different race than I am, because I am conservative, because I let them walk in the parking lot without holding onto them, because I put my heavier kid on a diet, etc., etc. I don’t think private citizens’ opinions should weigh in on whether or not I’m allowed to be a parent.

  138. Lee July 13, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    Dolly is a poster-child for sterilization. She’s SCARY.

  139. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    so wait….if i am against forced sterilization, i want dahmer to have kids? if im against forced sterilization, i want a criminally insane psychotic rapist to RAISE a child??

    first of all…..if you are in JAIL you are not raising kids. so take any damn comparison wherein someone who was CONVICTED and either executed or IN JAIL and shove it sideways.

    secondly, unless humans develop the skill of procreation via budding, are chosen by god to birth the second savior, or our prisons become co-ed- HAVING kids in jail isnt exactly on the table either.

    that leaves “everyone has the right to parent” or to paraphrase….procreate.

    and the answer is YES.
    you may lose your right to keep that child in your custody, make decisions etc…via the courts, right or wrong…..but it is so goddamn fucking WRONG to suggest that you lose the right to PROCREATE that i shudder to think what kind of fucked up moral HELLHOLE you crawled out of to be able to suggest it….and so rationally too….

  140. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 1:47 am #

    “Murderers don’t deserve to have kids. I can’t believe anyone is arguing that. This is going on that I do believe she murdered her little girl.”

    Besides what everyone else said about how it’s not about what she “should” do, or what she “deserves,” and so forth, in the eyes of the law, she’s not a murderer. Regardless of what you or I think, that’s the situation. Again, what you’re saying is that someone who is *not convicted of a crime* should have some legal penalty imposed on them by some supreme authority who gets to decide this things OUTSIDE THE LAW.

    Do you really, truly, not see how crazy and terrifying that idea is?

  141. Brian July 13, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    You can actually see the impact of these “tack on” laws in this case. The mother was found guilty of lying to the police.

    Its a pretty scary thing that even when you are not under oath you can be found guilty for lying to the police. Is it a crime to say “I think I was going about 65 officer?” I guess in this case it was partially because they diverted resources to pursue false information which is more understandable. But still, lying to the police is sort of a natural reaction.

  142. Donna July 13, 2011 at 2:03 am #

    Dolly, it doesn’t matter whether you, me and every other person on this planet and any other planet in existence in our universe BELIEVES that Casey Anthony is guilty. The State did not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. This is not a technicality. This is the cornerstone of our justice system as written in the Constitution by the people who founded our country.

    I find it fascinating that so many people who weren’t on the jury are so sure that Casey is guilty when the jury, who heard all the evidence, came to a very rapid decision otherwise.

    I’m too disgusted by the forced sterilization suggestion to even take part.

  143. mme6546 July 13, 2011 at 2:09 am #

    Donna:
    “I find it fascinating that so many people who weren’t on the jury are so sure that Casey is guilty when the jury, who heard all the evidence, came to a very rapid decision otherwise.”

    I know!! I have on occaision been a part of various commitee type things, and I’ve seen it take almost as long to decide on what type of PLATES to use, let alone what food is served, who is invited, what bank to use, etc.

    the fact that 12 people all agreed on something so very quickly says to me that without all the hype and spin this would have been open n shut.
    after all….
    it only takes one person to hang a jury.

  144. Lee July 13, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    “Beware of those in whom the urge to punish is very strong” –
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  145. Donna July 13, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Not just 12, 17. 17 jurors listened to the evidence in this case. Only 12 deliberated but at least some of the alternates have come out to say they would have acquitted as well. 17 people who heard all the evidence, and none of the media hype because they were sequestered, found that there was not sufficient evidence. They did not find her innocent as a defendant doesn’t have to prove herself innocent. Juries decide whether the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that she was guilty.

  146. Cheryl W July 13, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Dolly, as I understand it, the girl drowned. We don’t know if it was on purpose, that is, that the mother held her down, or if it was accidental. We probably will never know if the mother was drunk, asleep or other wise occupied when the girl drowned. Yes, either way, it is a horrible loss. No, I will never know why the mother did not report this, why she didn’t give her daughter a decent burial. It looks like regardless of the verdict that her family and the entire country is alienated against her. I hope that she will make better decisions in the future, and honestly, what man would really want to be with her once they know her background??? I don’t know, maybe the doctor that impregnated the Octomom would help her out? What doctor would want THAT publicity?

    Which, gets back to my example of the driving. I never said that the person was drunk. Perhaps driving too fast for conditions? Ignored the “Brake” light that was on? Those would also leave the parent making some bad decisions that would cause the child’s death. Yet, most of us who live where there is snow have at one time or other ended up in a ditch. Many of us have ignored sounds or lights that indicate problems with our cars. (Ever listen to “Car Talk”? People do it all the time.) Certainly, in your example of being drunk, the police would be all over that. But, that isn’t how most car related deaths now occur.

    People make mistakes all the time. However, the current thing in our society is that “Someone MUST be to blame.” We all WANT for there to be some reason behind the death of a child. Something as meaningless as cancer, asthma or other things…well, that just doesn’t sit right. It is too hard to accept. Apparently, this is too hard for you to accept too. It also was for the jurors. Yet, they found the case the way they did. Based on the laws of our country.

    Let me tell you another one that didn’t make it in the news. White brother and sister, fooling around together. Sister got pregnant, had the baby at 14 in her bedroom, and then let the baby die due to neglect. I believe that the brother and sister had to get counseling. That was it. It made the local paper, but compared the to daily shootings in Baltimore, it really wasn’t news beyond that area. I suspect that now that the kids are in their 20s, that perhaps they have other kids, hopefully by other people. I don’t really care. I wish them better than they had.

    Oh, and what about the other case recently that someone pointed out to me about a man who killed his step son, age 4 because he “thought” he was gay. Then proceeded to kill the mother. Who had gotten away at one point and asked a neighbor to call the police, but the neighbor REFUSED? Me, I think that it goes against common decency when a women who looks beat up comes to the door and asks you to call the police that you do not do so. But, maybe the neighbor was scared of the man too. Don’t know, don’t need a law, but it is upsetting that nothing was done on this entirely PREVENTABLE death. But, hey, the man is kind of cultish (had several wives) and he was African American to boot. Doesn’t make the mainstream news unless he is killing white kids or some such.

  147. Marchmolly July 13, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    Seriously, you think it’s okay for your thirteen-year-old to disappear for seven hours? You were a little angry? If my over-six-foot-tall husband said he was going somewhere, never showed up there, didn’t call, didn’t answer the phone, and didn’t come home for seven hours, I’d have the cops looking for him! It’s one thing to let your kids have some responsibility, another when they violate your trust. Get some common sense, people.

  148. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 3:27 am #

    Marchmolly — I think there’s a legitimate disagreement to be had over whether it’s okay not to worry about a 13 year old who isn’t where she’s supposed to be for seven hours.

    But don’t lose sight of the point — making something a *criminal matter* needs to be more than “that’s not good common sense” or “that’s not how I’d do it.” It has to be what you ‘d call a CRIME. If you think it’s a crime not to check up on a kid in that amount of time, then you’re entitled to feel that way. But if you just think it’s a bad idea, don’t support the idea of it being made a crime.

  149. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    “But, maybe the neighbor was scared of the man too. ”

    I can think of a whole pile of reasons why someone wouldn’t do it — most of them bad, though not all of them, and none of them criminal. The criminal is the GUY WHO KILLED HER, not every possible person who didn’t do everything possible we can think of while we’re sitting here comfortably patting ourselves on the back for thinking we’re better than those people.

    We want to make all these laws so really bad people who deliberately want to do really bad things won’t. But they STILL WILL. Yes, some common sense laws do prevent things, but a lot of this is just “helicopter parent” thinking applied to society instead of our own kids — if we just do everything right, and a little more than that just to be on the “safe side,” either nothing bad will happen, or at least WE won’t have to feel guilty if we supported the right laws and punished enough people for not being as “responsible” as WE would be.

  150. Rebecca July 13, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    All that needs to be done is to add a reasonable, specified time limit to the law. The law itself is not a bad idea, just the vague time limit. With Anthony, she failed to report for a month. I can’t imagine a scenario in which that would ever be acceptable, or a scenario in which a parent would have a good excuse for failing to report.

  151. Tracy July 13, 2011 at 4:06 am #

    someone mentioned further back, “what happens if I kick my child out of the house?” Interesting as for those of us with teens resisting house rules etc, sometimes that’s exactly what we think we may come to. But the rule makers could have us in trouble for doing something that back in the old days was a common tool used to get a serious message across to their kids. My son came home from school one day citing a friend of his who’d spent the night sleeping in a bush and came to school the next day early for a shower. “what kind of parent would do that?” my son asked. “A desperate one” we said… (I don’t know the reason for what the parents did, but sometimes it’s just a MYOB)
    .

  152. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 4:15 am #

    Rebecca, I don’t disagree, except — what would the law *actually* accomplish? And if the law really wouldn’t accomplish anything significant except maybe in very rare circumstances, should we be just adding laws? It’s one thing to say “if you did that, the law would not be unreasonable,” but shouldn’t there actually be a good reason *for* the law that could not be served *without* the law?

  153. Jeanette Glass July 13, 2011 at 4:29 am #

    Marchmolly, on July 13, 2011 at 03:09 said:
    Seriously, you think it’s okay for your thirteen-year-old to disappear for seven hours? You were a little angry?…. Get some common sense, people.

    pentamom, on July 13, 2011 at 03:27 said:
    Marchmolly — I think there’s a legitimate disagreement to be had over whether it’s okay not to worry about a 13 year old who isn’t where she’s supposed to be for seven hours

    Sure, but we don’t know the exact situation, so can’t really judge.

    I let my (then 15yo) go shopping in Seattle a couple of years ago. I told her I wanted to meet her back at the hotel “at suppertime”. We *generally* keep in touch every few hours on our cell phones when we are in foreign cities, but I don’t have any requirement that she checks in on schedule. During the day her phone battery died. I spent an anxious few hours wondering if “suppertime” meant 5pm like it does at home or 7pm like it had for the last few days, or ,,,

    When I tell this story I occationally say that I hadn’t had contact with her in 8 or 9 hours and was worried, but really I wasn’t worried for 8 or 9 hours, and she wasn’t missing for 8 or 9 hours… or at all! She was just late back for supper… like I had been a million times when I was a kid… like you probably were more than once in your childhood too!

  154. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 4:39 am #

    Lee: That is what my friends and family say too LOL; the “Scary” part. They say I am the best friend and nicest person in the world until you piss me off, then you better run for your life. Children being harmed is something I don’t tolerate.

    SKL: I said “criminally insane”. Your aunt does not qualify for that I am assuming or she would be in an institution or jail. Now if she was in an institution in a padded room I would have to say she is unfit to raise a child. Kinda hard to rock a baby when you are in a straightjacket. Otherwise just a little crazy is not what I am talking about here. I know plenty of mildly crazy folks that are great parents.

  155. Beth July 13, 2011 at 5:03 am #

    Dolly, you can tell us all day that you rock and you rule and you’re the best friend and nicest person in the world, but yet you can’t see that you are advocating sterilization for someone who has been found NOT GUILTY by a JURY OF HER PEERS in a COURT OF LAW?

    Please, PLEASE take your egotism to some other website where they will worship you. Or start your own.

  156. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 5:07 am #

    “Children being harmed is something I don’t tolerate.”

    And other normal people do, if they don’t want to give the law the power to sterilize people without convicting them of a crime.

  157. kherbert July 13, 2011 at 5:29 am #

    On a related note Texas Equusearch is suing Casey Anthony. They spent $112,000 while volunteering to search for Caylee. They were unable to help other families with members who were actually missing, because of their involvement in the search for Caylee.

    Story http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=8246363

  158. Maureen July 13, 2011 at 5:34 am #

    “Children being harmed is something I don’t tolerate.”

    But of course! You are so much better than everyone else.

    Everyone else has already said it, but I’ll just add a This law is stupid.

  159. SKL July 13, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Marchmolly, when I was 13 (or 8 for that matter) there was no “place I was supposed to be,” except during school hours. I was “supposed to be” wherever I wanted to be that was legal and hadn’t been specifically forbidden. I was not asked to inform my parents where I was going. It was not considered necessary, based on my parents’ observation of how responsible I was.

    So no, I would not be afraid or upset if a free-range 13yo did not check back all day long, unless he had a specific instruction to do so. And no, that does not make me a criminal.

  160. Lee July 13, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    Well, then Dolly…you most certainly cannot sleep at night knowing so many children go to bed hungry (or merely starve to death) because their (unfit) mothers had their food benefits cut; or end up dying due to lack of health care…because the fed and state governments are strapped funding billions for stupid laws like this one in hopes of saving one.
    We’re talking millions of children who live on the streets hungry, have no education and no hope.
    Are you equally dismayed and outraged at their plight…and writing daily your congressmen to tell them they must do something? Or do we let them eat cake.

    or sterilize all women on welfare. After all…some offspring WILL become criminals. Can’t be TOO careful.

  161. SKL July 13, 2011 at 5:57 am #

    I should clarify my above comment – except during school hours OR after the legal curfew.

  162. Sky July 13, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    It’s not vague. It’s specific. It would make it illegal to wait more than 24 hours to report a missing child.

  163. Sky July 13, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    I used to think (TV again!) that you couldn’t report a missing person until they’d been missing at least 24 hours. But that doesn’t seem to apply to kids. A friend reported a son who ran off about an hour after he ran off (after looking for him and not finding him), and they had helicopters in the air within an hour looking for him. I do think 24 hours and “kid” may be too restrictive, especially if by kid they mean 17 year old and they define “missing” loosely. But once again it is a problem with discretion. Someone who doesn’t report a missing kid for days and days should be able to be prosecuted with current child neglect laws, I would think.

  164. Sky July 13, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    “We’re talking millions of children who live on the streets hungry, have no education and no hope”

    Statistical source, please, for the “millions” of children living on the street in the U.S. hungry?

    Also, what children have had “food benefits” cut? Can you specify the legislation that has specifically cut food benefits to children?

    If children are hungry in the U.S., it’s because thier parents are not getting them the available free food. It’s not because free food for the poor isn’t available. Your problem should be with the parents, not the taxpayers. But throwing money at parents who neglect their children doesn’t much help.

  165. Sky July 13, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    And, no, I certainly don’t want the law to have the power to sterilize anyone.

  166. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    The sterilization comment was mostly a joke. I am not going to be signing any petitions or anything for sterilization. But in some cases, yes, it might be a good idea. Whether you sterilize someone or take their children from them immediately after birth the result is the same: they don’t parent their kids.

    Beth: Take your egotism somewhere else too. This is not your site so who gives you the right to tell someone to leave?

  167. Dolly July 13, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    THANK YOU Sky! Actually I volunteered my own time and money when I did not have a lot to be a Big Sister to a disadvantaged little girl. They had plenty of food in the house because both her parents and her older sister were extremely obese. You cannot be starving and be that big. Now her older brother and my little sister. They were skinny as rails. She was always saying she was hungry when I came to pick her up. Why? Because according to her the parents ate all the food. I don’t doubt her story. She was not a lying child. So she was hungry alright but not for lack of government help. They had ample food stamps and the parents ate it all. The father was not even supposed to be eating that food since he was not married to the mother and was not a registered member of that household but he lived there and ate the kids food anyway.

    But, yes, I do get outraged when children are abused and neglected and I volunteer my time and give my money constantly to help them.

  168. Tuppence July 13, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Regarding hunger and children in the U.S., this from the Washington Post. 2009: “nearly 50 million people — including almost one child in four — struggled last year to get enough to eat”.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/16/AR2009111601598.html

    Found just one Internet search away, Sky.

    And how’d it turn out with the story of your friend’s child? Was the child actually in danger? Just wondering if the call your friend made was some kind of premature panic that ended up costing tax payers A LOT of money – helicopters whirling around in the sky don’t come cheap.

  169. Lee July 13, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    Well struck Mr. Bachmann. Silly me, in a world with over 300 million people there cannot be that many malnourished children (accompanied by their obvious dead-beat parents, of course.) No way there could be so many. You’re right. Next time I comment on the number of any large crowd, I will take a personal census.

    And I stand ashamed that I was caught unaware that our tax-dollar wastes are best highlighted by the least of our brethren. That none of the states (in financial peril all) hemorrhage (dare I say Billions…oh my) on laws and programs that have zippo to do with those who gratefully stand in Sky’s benevolent soup lines; polluting our very air with their felonious vapors.

    I have the strangest craving for a cup of tea.

  170. martin July 13, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Having children is a God given right. That doesn’t mean that everyone will be good parents. But that is not our choice to make. What we do with the gift of the life that was trusted to us by God is in our hands. Unfortunately some people abuse that right and their choices will be paid for eventually either by guilt or by God. We cannot make the choice to sterilize some one because that is not our place. While it would be hard to see Casey Anthony have another child we do not know her. We do not know if she is guilty (truly ). We will never know the whole story. So it is not for us to say. As for the law, there should be some ramifications for not reporting a child missing after a reasonable amount of time. 31 days is disgusting. Normal people would be sick with worry after a few minutes if their 2year old was missing. But that’s normal people. And we all know Casey is not normal. The whole case is disgusting and I agree with Larry that it was too publicized and there are other children that this happens to. Why is this case so special? Because the media made it that way. Nothing will bring that little girl back. Not even this proposed law.

  171. Cheryl W July 13, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    Pentamom, just to be clear, because I think you did get what I was saying, I am not proposing a law that makes it mandatory to report to the police when a bruised and bloody woman shows up at your door asking for help.

    What I propose, is that common decency says that you call the police and help another human in need. I suspect that the neighbor feels really bad right now about the lack of action on their part.

    The man, and the other adult women who were there helping him, are the ones guilty of the crime. Laws apparently did not stop him from doing what he did. It would seem that he feels that he is above the law.

    And maybe Casey felt she was above the law, exempt or just plain scared of the law. I find it hard to find a reasonable explanation for how she acted. I hope that while in prison she was able to access counseling of some sort and she understands her errors.

  172. Cheryl W July 13, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Dolly, you need to do a wink or something if you want us to think that you are joking.

  173. Shawn July 13, 2011 at 9:44 am #

    For what its worth I have been an “evaluator” for more almost 40 years. In addition to crisis evaluations I do risk assessments for sexual predation, violence and arson, and I do trauma evaluations. I have done forensic testimony in abuse cases (sexual and physical). I have been face to face with many of your theoretical scenarios and others that are truly evil (father pouring lighter fluid and lighting the child on fire… seen 3 in my lifetime). You would be stunned by the horrendous behavior of human beings… that having been said MOST is over-stated and interventions lack common sense.

    I prefer no particular laws and in that regard I am a libertarian. I believe in free range kids… that’s why I’m here… to support that concept. As Mark Twain said, “God protect me from do-gooders!”

    Basically a law that requires a care giver who has complete responsibility for a totally dependent individual should be required to report the loss of that dependent is a good idea. It’s a risk benefit analysis… it is so rare that it will virtually never have an impact except in the rarest most horrendous cases.

    Perhaps it should be on a sliding scale based on age… for example what if an infant went missing… how long should we wait before we see when the infant will return? A toddler… how long? Different than a first grader but sooner than an adolescent… maybe adolescents should be exempt. Much of this haranguing sounds adolescent and self centered. I’m not worried if “I” am going to be arrested… I’m worried that a lost child will be found ASAP.

  174. Dftt July 13, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    I really don’t understand why people even engage Larry. Disgusting.

  175. Nanci July 13, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    I haven’t read through the 174 comments so I apologize if this has been mentioned already. About a month ago I heard a horrible story about a young girl falling to her death from a ferris wheel in Wildwood NJ. The story caught my attention because we used to vacation there when I was a teen. A few days ago I read a follow up story and of course the parents are angry and looking for someone to blame. It is so sad to see the blame reaction. I can’t imagine losing a child, but I would hope that I wouldn’t be the type to turn a freak accident into a blame game. The parents are mad that at 12 she was allowed to ride alone and now want to make it so children cannot be allowed on the ferris wheel by themselves! I can see telling a 3 year old they can’t ride alone, but a 12 year old!!! This is a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction to a horrific accident, that was just that, nothing more. As you have said before, people just can’t accept that accidents happen, surely there has to be a way to prevent all bad things from happening ever, after all it is 2011 right!!! Anyway I hope they do not change to rules and children continue to be able to ride amusement park rides without their mommies right next to them.

  176. pentamom July 13, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Cheryl, I did get that. I was sort of going off in another direction, I guess.

  177. LRH July 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    Dftt Well, I don’t know that there is any engaging needed. I stand by my point, I’m right–this case has received a level of attention disproportionate to what it really deserves. Caylee is no more important–and no less either–than any other child who was alleged to have been murdered by their parents.

    LRH

  178. Paul Cyopick July 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    For some parents “a timely manner” would be all of ten seconds.

  179. yogamom July 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    “Caylee’s Law” would NOT be used to press charges against a parent whose child turned up late for dinner. It would be used against parents whose child turned up dead a month later without the parent/s ever alerting the authorities. According to Caylee’s Law, a missing child would need to be reported within 24 hours, so you would not be charged if your daughter was “missing” for 7.

    Most parents do need such a law dictacting when to contact authorities and would not run into any trouble with this law. However, parents who are abusive, impaired, or otherwise dangerous to their child would now have an extra standard to be held accountable to. This will give the child/ren of such parents some extra protection. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  180. April July 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

    “This case has become headline news for reasons I still haven’t figured out.”

    This case became headline news because it was a cute little white girl. it is the stereotype that sells.

  181. SKL July 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    Could we stop making this case about racism? The case was publicized because the search went on so long, and the family was so bizarre. Yes, she was cute and little. Yes, she was white. Why do I feel as if hate is being directed toward her posthumously for that reason? Racism goes both ways.

  182. Marchmolly July 13, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    Leaving behind the issue of legality, I believe this article describes an incident of shoddy parenting. The author says that he called the mother of the child his daughter was supposed to be visiting and found out that his daughter never arrived. Then he sat around and did nothing until his daughter came home three hours later. He says he didn’t have the phone number for his daughter’s friend, but he obviously had the friend’s mother’s number. How about making another phone call to her? Then they would know that there are two teenagers who are not where they said they would be and can’t be reached by phone. This is a time for the parents to do something. Call the kids’ other friends, drive over to the mall if you think they might be there, do something other than sit in your butt while your kid could be lost, hurt, behaving badly, or any number of things. If you trust your child to go off all day without telling you her plans, fine. But if she says, I’ll be at Brittany’s, and then you find out that she never made it there, that is a signal that you need to try to find your kid and make sure she’s okay.

    Adult example–in my workplace we had a good employee who just didn’t show up one day. So we tried to call, no answer. A couple of us decided to run by her apartment and make sure everything was okay. When there was no answer at the door, we went around and peeked in the window and could see her fully dressed lying on the floor. We called 911; turned out she had a heart attack and probably would have died if someone hadn’t decided to take some responsibility in finding out what was going on.

    Oh, and the whole 24-hour thing isn’t true everywhere. I know that here in Boston, where the cops have plenty to worry about, you can’t file an official missing persons case for 24 hours, but the cops will take your information right away, and depending on the case and the age of the child, they may start a full out search right away, or they may keep an eye out for a teen and contact worried parents. No, it’s not a waste of taxes. The cops here want to protect the public and keep the kids safe.

  183. KCB July 14, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    I don’t think people on this site are making the Anthony case about racism. I think the media attention was about racism.

    People don’t hate Caylee for being white (who hates a dead child?). They hate the hype that surrounded the case because she was a white girl. They are wondering why a cute white girl is more “important” and “newsworthy” than any other type of child. I’m wondering that, and I *am* a white girl.

    Sometimes anger and racism are hard to separate out. But I think in this situation, people are angry about the (conscious or dysconscious) racism of the media. They are not angry at Caylee for being white.

  184. KCB July 14, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    A definition of dysconscious racism…

    Dysconsciousness is an uncritical habit of mind (including perceptions, attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs) that justifies inequity and exploitation by accepting the existing order of things as given…. Dysconscious racism is a form of racism that tacitly accepts dominant White norms and privileges.” (King 133)

  185. littlebird July 14, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    ANY of your reasons to oppose this is all based on FEAR! admit it! You all come on here preaching about how we can’t parent based on FEAR but yet here so many of you are rejecting a law designed for truly bad parents and immediately you put it down because you’re so afraid that you personally are going to be imprisoned for being mistaken for a bad parent after your child turns up okay and not missing…where is your logic? If Casey Anthony gets away with murder and it happens so often you don’t understand all the attention it’s received, do you *really* think you are going to prison for not having constant contact with your teen when they’re out when they’re healthy and alive when all is said & done?
    For not wanting to conform to our cultures fearful parenting ideals, many of you sure seem to worry a lot about what other people think of you…isn’t one of the benefits of free-range parenting not weighing your family down with worry? Why is throwing away needless worry good enough for your childrens’ lives but not your own? Cause that’s when it gets really tough to face your own things holding you back from real peace. Everything comes down to your intention. I don’t think you can even feel what free really is until you grow and free yourself of all the fear that you let make your judgments for you not just your children. All you’ve done is taken your fear for your child and applied it to yourself…you all are the biggest bunch of whiny worriers I’ve ever heard!

  186. Dolly July 14, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    What SKL said about racism going both ways. I said it earlier. It is not Caylee’s fault that this became a media poostorm and we need to stop acting angry about it and acting like people are stupid for being concerned about her. She was a pretty precious little girl and she deserves every prayer and bit of concern she got.

  187. Dolly July 14, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    Littlebird: Name calling aside I agree with you to a point. I have pointed out on this site before that I am not the least bit worried CPS or the police are going to show up at my door and try to take my kids or charge me with something. I know I don’t do anything wrong. I know I am a great citizen and person. I know everyone gives me a hard time for talking about myself positively but I am doing it to make a point. I have NOTHING to worry about from the government!!! It would be the joke of the century if anyone questioned my parenting or tried to arrest me!! I am such a goody goody.

    I make the parenting decisions I want to make and I have zero worry about anyone calling CPS on me. I have to wonder are your parenting decisions really that great if you live in constant worry about CPS being called? I actually do a lot of free range stuff too like leave them outside in an unfenced yard for a few minutes. Riding low to the ground tricycles without helmets. When they are older they will walk to school alone and I have zero worry a neighbor might freak out and call CPS about it. Why? Because all the neighbors see me with my kids outside playing with my kids and interacting with them and they will see me training them how to walk to school alone before they actually do it. I really don’t worry about anything like that. Yet many people on this site worry nonstop that someone might call CPS on them! I don’t get it!

  188. Elle Barrett July 14, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    I didn’t really follow the case, but wasn’t Caylee dead, not missing? Casey would not have violated the law anyway had it been a law

  189. pentamom July 14, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    ““Caylee’s Law” would NOT be used to press charges against a parent whose child turned up late for dinner. It would be used against parents whose child turned up dead a month later without the parent/s ever alerting the authorities.”

    You know this how? Maybe based on the wonderful track record of overzealous prosecutors NEVER applying a law more broadly than intended for the purpose of nailing someone for something when all else failed?

    If a law says X, eventually it can and will be used to prosecute people for every possible instance of X, even if all the good-hearted people who supported it actually only meant for it to mean “X in certain circumstances that are obviously a problem.” Maybe not every time, but once is bad enough. Why not just write the law so it addresses the actual problem, or better yet, why not ask ourselves whether the law does anybody any real good even if perfectly written?

  190. Helynna Brooke July 14, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    In California we have had a law on the books for several years called the Three Strikes Law. I didn’t personally vote on it because I was afraid of how it would ultimately be applied. The year it was voted on the hype was that it would put people away forever who did terrible, serious, violent crimes for the third time. Groups are now working to abolish it because it has put people away for 25 years whose third crime was shoplifting a few grocery items, and even their prior crimes weren’t serious.

    There is an old joke that locks are to keep honest people out, because serious criminals can break in most anywhere. There are many countries in the world with far harsher laws than the US and I am glad I live here with our justice system, even though it may let a guilty person off from time to time. It has also in the course of our history put people away and even to death who were innocent.

    I really enjoy this blog, but I have not enjoyed the harsh name calling and put downs of late.

  191. Jp Merzetti July 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    A timely manner? A deliciously vague and wonderfully supercharged pot of pathetic porridge.
    How much more vague about age of said child, um? Are we still referring to teenagers as children? How divine, dahling!
    I see somewhere in my crystal ball simply gazzillions of calls swamping the lines in the near future, as huge hordes of teenagers somehow slip the ship, poop the coop, and otherwise fade out of sight….while anxious caretakers try furiously to cover their butts…
    o lord.
    I dunno……..protection against bad parenting? Hmmmmm.
    Might need a whole lotta new jails in the future….

  192. pentamom July 14, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    I would like to hear from someone who supports this law, even half-heartedly and “properly written,” as to how this law would protect any child, make anyone’s life better, or make children generally safer, except in some very narrow, and rare, circumstances. And if it is only useful in narrow and rare circumstances, it’s my contention that making laws that potentially make criminals out of people for errors in judgment, as opposed to genuinely harmful or dangerous behavior, are worse than the disease.

  193. Donna July 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    This law is purely punitive. The Casey Anthony’s who allegedly murder their children are not impacted by the law. Since murder carries a much stiffer penalty than this law will, it’s ridiculous to believe that they will kill their child but still report her missing within 24 hours so as not to run afoul of the law. Same with crack heads or other bad parents who lose track of their children and don’t report them missing for days. The fact that there is another law is not going to make them responsible parents who obey the law. Parents who are decent and care about obeying the law already report their children missing when they are actually missing. The only people whose behavior this law will alter are those who report runways when they didn’t want to.

    Further, this law doesn’t allow time travel. Sure the parent gets a felony, but the time has still passed, the child has still been missing for weeks and months, the trail is still cold, and the evidence is still gone.

  194. Shawn July 14, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    It appears likely that this law is more punitive than protective.This is NOT a reason NOT to pass it. In this regard maybe already existing child abuse and neglect laws should be amended to include “failure to report” clauses.

    The level of civilization in a society can be judged by its prisons. Who do we put there and why? I consider it criminal that we allow a child to be disregarded like trash and there is no consequence. The streets in poor countries are full of “throw aways” so we should allow our personal society to do the same?

    The message is to children… we won’t let you be discarded… you are worth something and we will value you.

  195. pentamom July 15, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Shawn, throwing away your children is already illegal. So is any deliberate or overtly neglectful act that puts your children in danger. We have endangerment laws.

    It’s not as though we need this law either to protect children from harm, or to find a way to send a message that children are not to be harmed. We already have laws that do those things.

    The only reason for “not passing this law” I’m suggesting is that no law, ever, should be passed if it doesn’t effectively either protect people, or punish people who would otherwise “get off” for doing something intolerable. IOW, the reason not to pass it is that there’s no reason to pass it — and that should be the standard. We should have a bias *against* passing more laws, not in favor of it.

  196. Shawn July 15, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    We disagree… both in practice and theory. Your mind is made up so I won’t try and change it. Laws can be good… they keep you alive… laws like the number of heart beats or respirations per minute… they are natural and not necessarily negative. I believe we should have no bias either way… only an open mind.

    You state that it would be OK if it punished someone “who would otherwise “get off” for doing something intolerable”. The case alluded to in this thread (Caylee Anthony) resulted in exactly that. Not reporting did not violate any law because she was found not guilty of child abuse/neglect.

    I have worked for 40 years helping traumatized children/adults and my personal experience informs me that this law would be helpful.

  197. Rebecca July 15, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Shawn, I am curious…did you find that other parents have in fact failed to report their kids missing? Yikes! I am hoping it is not prevalent but there are some terrible parents out there too…

  198. Shawn July 15, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Unfortunately the only scientific study based on “missing children” dates to 1992 and the extrapolation from the facts of that study has been severely overstated. In practice if their numbers were correct we would all know someone whose child was snatched.

    “Throw aways” are different than “run aways”. Both are highly probable to have dysfunctional families. However in the first case the child is never reported… that’s the distinction. Few of these kids are actually snatched, killed or injured… they remain invisible. Those who are dead are typically not murdered… it is an accidental death of some sort. A small portion of those may be suicides. As you crunch those numbers the true danger level to “throw aways” is quite small and certainly not enough to have Draconian “child safety” laws.

    However the damage to these kids is considerable and unconscionable… they are exploited in many ways especially sexually. They are also responsible for many property crimes and have a high probability of substance abuse and in turn have their own children and become our wards to support with tax dollars.

    I have evaluated the level of damage to these children. I have met and interacted with their parents. The parents’ lack of care is astounding and they hide behind excuses that sound remarkably similar to the complaints here. They have their rights, society is impinging on them, people should mind their own business etc. etc. Granted these are a small minority but it is a significant minority… as the numbers get large the small percentage is a large number.

    Child endangerment laws are vague and vary considerably from state to state. Perhaps you recall a recent law poorly drafted in Nebraska I believe that allowed children to be dropped of without penalty (as if they were infants). The social service demand immediately overwhelmed the system with people driving to the state to legally ‘abandon’ them.

    I cannot see how such a law would dramatically or even minimally interfere with the rights of even marginally involved parents. As such I don’t really see it as intrusive. I am saying that we should stop wasting our energy telling parents their kids can’t sled alone or walk back and forth to school or otherwise learn to be a competent and independent person as soon as feasibly possible; knowing the whole time they are deeply loved. But this doesn’t mean I can live with folks who are so narcissistic and self absorbed that they have no consequence for taking no responsibility for throwing away a child. I’m not saying they should be in jail but maybe they should be fined to pay for the group homes and foster placements and therapeutic services needed to clean up after their irresponsible mess.

  199. Shawn July 15, 2011 at 3:54 am #

    And the short answer is “Yes”… I’ve seen a significant number of parents in the 11 and above category (a couple in the 9 – 10 range) that don’t report that their kids are ‘missing’ up to 2 weeks and more… a night or 2 is quite common in this group.

  200. Tsu Dho Nimh July 15, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    Look at this news article:
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/07/12/20110712phoenix-girl-dead-in-box-hide-and-seek.html

    Shall we now ban hide-and-seek? Or ban footlocker style trunks?

  201. Shawn July 15, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    No but these incidents resulted in a law that doors need to be removed from discarded/abandoned refrigerators. Haven’t ever heard of another accidental death of suffocation or people arrested for not doing so… hide and seek is still legal…

  202. Helynna Brooke July 15, 2011 at 5:08 am #

    If this law is passed it could potentially help a parent who has murdered their child hide that fact, especially if they are good at crying and looking upset. They could kill their child, then report right away that their child is missing. They could go on national TV begging the kidnapper to return their child. If they covered their evidence well with the murder, they might get off scot free.

  203. Shawn July 15, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    That’s actually how it’s usually done… reported right away and looking upset that a family member is gone.

  204. Dp July 15, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Lol… You are the most “either/or” “black or white” type person I’ve ever been made aware of. Her daughter was missing for 31 days, she didn’t report it, and we can’t even charge her for it. Currently, the police won’t even take a parent seriously if they call in a situation like the one you described. Do you honestly think this proposed law will be out to get you?
    Come on, you’ve turned this whole idea of yours into a way to stir up controversy about yourself. I think you’re a narsacist.

  205. pentamom July 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    “You state that it would be OK if it punished someone “who would otherwise “get off” for doing something intolerable”. The case alluded to in this thread (Caylee Anthony) resulted in exactly that. Not reporting did not violate any law because she was found not guilty of child abuse/neglect.”

    She didn’t get off because there was no law against what she is believed to have done. There are all kinds of laws against murder, abuse of a corpse, etc. She got off because she was found not guilty. And I fail to see how a law requiring her to report Caylee missing would have 1) done anything to protect Caylee since she had no qualms about committing the more serious crime or murder or 2) allowed her to be prosecuted since she couldn’t simultaneously be charged with killing a child, and failing to report a child who wasn’t, in the eyes of the law missing, because in the eyes of the law, Casey had killed her.

    As for “laws keeping you alive” — that’s really a rather different meaning of laws and that’s called equivocation. I only meant that laws shouldn’t be passed without great consideration, because every law that’s passed *does* potentially take away someone’s freedom, so therefore there needs to be a good *positive* reason for any law, not just “it can’t hurt” kind of thinking. Not realizing that can take society on a dangerous path.

  206. jennybean July 16, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    I have only read a little bit about this case, but I don’t think the jury found Casey Anthony “not guilty” of child neglect. I don’t think she was charged with child neglect, nor with child endangerment or child abandonment.

    The state did not charge Casey Anthony with any of these things because they were charging her with murder, manslaughter and aggravated child abuse. Neglect, endangerment and abandonment are things she could only be guilty of, had she *not* killed her kid herself, but rather had just been so irresponsible that she allowed her to be killed (by somebody else).

    In other words, had there been a “Caylee’s Law”, Caylee’s mother probably wouldn’t have been charged under it.

    Or am I missing something here?

  207. pentamom July 16, 2011 at 3:51 am #

    Jennybean, you’re exactly right. That’s what we’re trying to say. In fact, she *could not* have been charged under it, because the state could not have simultaneously maintained that:

    1) She knew only that the child was missing and failed to report it and
    2) She knew the child was not missing, but dead, because she’d killed her.

    Both cannot be true, so the state cannot file both charges.

  208. Beth July 16, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    A recent story that further reflects the heightened emotions surrounding this case….
    http://www.channel3000.com/news/28559552/detail.html

  209. Shawn July 16, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    I’m neither a judge nor a lawyer so I don’t know how the “eyes of the law” see it. I do believe you can be charged for two different but overlapping charges simultaneously. The exception is “double jeopardy” which means you cannot be charged twice for the SAME crime. I have been an “expert witness” giving forensic evaluations, and have given “friend of the court” consultations. I am not unfamiliar with these circumstances.

    Casey Anthony was acquitted of all charges including aggravated child abuse. She was not charged with neglect. The consequence for a supported allegation of child neglect (and often abuse) is that you are assigned a case manager / social worker and/or the child is removed from the home… so loss of your child is the punishment. Casey Anthony would have been charged with being guilty of a specific act… not reporting a missing child. This is the law that is requested… failure to report. If such a law was on the books and she hypothetically was found guilty of murder she still also could be found guilty of “failure to report”.

    She was found guilty of lying to the police. Outrageous lies that hindered the investigation… this was not a crime of omission… it was an active attempt to prevent the body from being found. So it was actually more than failure to report it was a deliberate attempt to NOT report.

    If you take the defenses own scenario we are to believe that the child died accidentally from drowning and that the grandfather covered it up and disposed of the body. This means the mother knew the child was dead and was an accomplice after the fact (if the child drowned while the grandfather was supposed to be looking after her) or was actively trying to protect herself and thus was a co-conspirator (if the child drowned while either she alone and/or also the grandfather also present were supposed to be supervising her). Whatever the scenario the mother knew the child was dead and did not help the police.

    I am not at all emotional about this… I am coldly logical. “Caylee’s Law” would not have protected Caylee but the mother would have been found guilty of a criminal act if there was a law that made it a criminal act not to report. For that matter if the defense’s scenario is correct then the grandfather should be punished as well and would also be guilty of the same crime. There would be a reason to charge him for at least with something if he is the incestuous pedophile the defense implied.

    I feel there is at least as much emotion clouding the judgment of those opposed as is being accused of the one’s in favor. The emotional reaction of the opposed seems grounded in the fear that somehow their parental rights are being threatened. I believe the only ones truly being threatened are folks who are lying psychopaths (and my profession allows me to use that term in a cold clinical sense not in a histrionic emotional sense).

  210. Shawn July 16, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Also have now read the Oklahoma article about “how emotional people are getting.” My interpretation is that a closer look will result in the fact that the accused woman is likely a poor soul with a delusional mental illness of some sort. That having been said I believe there are enough unbalanced folks in the world that the mother’s life is at risk, at least in the short term. This does not mean that everyone is crazy who thinks there’s something wrong with the entire incident.

  211. Shawn July 16, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Pentamom I am also a college professor and I teach philosophy (and logic is one of my courses) as well as psychology. What I was doing could narrowly be seen as equivocation but my point was that “laws” are not automatically bad. Consequently I was giving an example of scientific “laws” which have a beneficial effect and thus attempting to show that laws are sometimes good.

    A more salient example might be the law that says we are supposed to stop at red lights. This law impedes the freedom of some for some period of time but contributes to general welfare and safe travel. It also allows a policeman who look away for a moment when you are going through a yellow light that you could not safely stop at and thus is the correct and legal thing to do, to look up and see you part way through an intersection where there is now a red light, to pull you over, ticket and fine you.

    Everything has an up or a down, a good or a bad.

    As I have said initially… we simply disagree…

  212. Donna July 16, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Shawn – I AM a lawyer, criminal attorney, and Casey could NOT have been charged with this crime and murder. There can certainly be overlapping charges. There were in this case. The aggravated child abuse and murder were basically based on the same act.

    Let’s see if I can explain this one more time.

    If Casey murdered Caylee, there can be no failure to report a missing child. Caylee was never missing. Casey knew where she was at all times. Reporting Caylee missing would have been false report if a crime – the kidnapping of Caylee which never occurred. Charging Casey with murder negates any possibility that she is guilty of failing to report a missing child.

    A murder defendant cannot be charged with concealing a dead body or failing to report a death. The 5th amendment protects us from self incrimination. That means that you can’t make it a crime for a murderer to not call the police to report the murder she just committed.

    The State cannot present multiple theories of what happened to Caylee. Caylee is clearly dead. Either Casey murdered her or Casey failed to report her missing and someone else killed her. The State can’t argue both. The State must prove each charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If they charge Casey with both murder and failing to report a crime, the proof the State would present to prove one charge would provide reasonable doubt for the other, making her not guilty of both, probably on a directed verdict.

    Daddy can’t be charged with anything. The statute of limitations has passed. Even if it hadn’t, there is no evidence other than the word if a convicted liar trying to get herself off on a capital murder charge. A law student could win that trial.

  213. pentamom July 16, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    “I do believe you can be charged for two different but overlapping charges simultaneously.”

    Yes, different and overlapping, but not mutually logically exclusive, which is what “failure to report that you don’t know where your kid is” and “murdering your kid” are.

    For example, you can’t be charged with both breaking and entering your neighbor’s house at 7:00 p.m., if you are also charged with assaulting somebody at a bar across town at 7:00. That is more obviously extreme, but actually no more logically exclusive, than being charged with “not reporting that you don’t know where your child is” and “having murdered your child, so you know there’s no lost child in question, and no lost child to report.” You can’t be charged with something you *could not have done* in light of having done some other thing you’re charged with. And that’s what this would be.

  214. pentamom July 16, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    And I didn’t say we could never have laws that impede people’s freedom, I only meant that we shouldn’t impede people’s freedom unless we really can be sure that the new law will aid one of the purposes of the law (preventing harm, actually punishing actual harm) to a sufficient degree that justifies the imposition. I still don’t see what this “failure to report” law positively accomplishes *in actual circumstances,* so unless I have a better reason than “it doesn’t really cause harm” I wouldn’t support it even if I were fairly well convinced that it didn’t cause much harm.

    What I mean by actual circumstances is not just “it punishes people who don’t report missing kids,” I mean “it will actually serve to punish people who don’t report missing kids because it is enforceable.” A law that only actually punishes people who never get caught doing it really *only* forces law-abiding people to do things that may be unnecessary.

  215. Shawn July 16, 2011 at 8:50 am #

    Donna… OK very interesting… please forgive me if you explained this before and I missed the details in such a long thread… mea culpa. This is why we need lawyers.

    I was not suggesting that grandfather be charged as incestuous father… rather with failure to report a missing child. But if I understand the facts correctly if he KNEW the child was dead he could be charged with another crime but NOT failure to report because he knew the child was dead? And if he didn’t know and was in fact believing his daughter that the grand daughter was with a babysitter then the child was not technically “missing” as it applies to him? And finally is the statute of limitations for sexual abuse the same in every state? Are there some where (like murder I believe) there is no statute of limitations?

    Thanks for taking the time for a thoughtful reply

  216. Shawn July 16, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    Pentamon I am more concerned with “throw aways” who are exploited and are allowed to be so because the parents don’t care where they are and so don’t care if they are missing. I thought there might be some consequence for such irresponsible individuals. However now enlightened by Donna I wonder who would define “missing”. If not the legal custodial parent/guardian then who? Consequently these children may not be missing!?

  217. Donna July 16, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Under the State’s theory of the case, grandpa can’t be charged because he had no responsibility for Caylee when she went missing. The failure to report has to be on someone responsible for the child, not every relative in the family. Further, they’d have to prove that he knew Caylee was missing, ie he didn’t believe the babysitter story.

    Under the defense story, he can’t be charged for the same reason as Casey – he knew the child was dead and not missing.

    All states will have different statute of limitations and they are complex for child molestation but most are similar – probably between 5 to 7 years. To my knowledge the only crime that carries no statute of limitations in any state is murder.

  218. Donna July 16, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    There you have hit the crux of our objection Shawn. It is the State that defines missing. So, yes, your parents of throw away kids could get nailed (first someone else would have to notice the kid was missing and care enough to report it to the police). But also so could parents who don’t consider the kid missing when the State does. If I let my 16 year old drive to CA one summer and don’t require her to check in everyday, is she missing when I don’t hear from her for 48 hours? To me, probably not. To the State not knowing exactly where mchild is for 48 hours may qualify.

  219. SKL July 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm #

    My brother had some personality issues as a kid/teen, and sometimes he would “run away” when life got too stressful. Sometimes he skipped school and hid up in the rafters of the garage. At least once, he was gone overnight – he slept in the woods. My parents did not report his absence to the police. They wanted to deal with him without getting the authorities involved. The authorities would have just made a bad situation worse.

    This was not a matter of a “throwaway child.” Today, my brother would probably be diagnosed as having Aspergers, but then, he was simply an outcast in school, a “nutty professor” whose social and organizational skills were extremely primitive. He would reach boiling point and go hide from the world. Each time, he came back from “running away” and gave it another go. He’s now a professionally successful, married geek with a geeky but well-loved son. I don’t believe my parents were criminals for trying their best to help my brother find his way as a teen.

    I frankly don’t trust the government authorities to do the right thing should I get them involved with my kid. My daughters have been through a couple of disruptions already – birthmom to foster mom, foster mom to me – and it would not benefit them in any way to be forcibly separated from me while the “authorities” decide whether, in their opinion, my kid wandered off because I was a sucky parent. I would call the cops if I believed my kids to be potentially in danger, but not if I just thought they were being rebellious / afraid and likely to come home once they had time to think clearly. Like most things involving my kids, I should have the right to decide, based on my individual kid’s needs and abilities, whether or not the situation calls for outside intervention.

  220. Donna July 16, 2011 at 11:05 pm #

    To add to SKL’s post, the world in some ways is not the world we grew up in. When I was a kid, you reported a runaway, the cops picked him up and brought him home. End of story. Today the child is prosecuted in juvenile court. In my work area a runaway report leads to the arrest of the child, detention in youth detention center until a hearing within 72 hours, a mandatory sentence of 10 days in said youth detention center while everybody allegedly tries to figure out why the kid took off and if the kid should be returned to the home, followed by 2 years of probation for the child that I have to pay for.

    I, as the parent, should be able to make the choice as to whether to subject my child to all this or whether to handle things on my own. This is not a “crime” that effects anyone except the family unit so society shouldn’t dictate that I MUST report my child as missing. We should be able to handle it as a family.

  221. Beth July 17, 2011 at 12:43 am #

    Shawn, not sure why you seemed to take offense of my posting of the article about the woman in Oklahoma; I guess I should have made my point in posting it clearer.

    There was quite a bit of discussion earlier in this thread about how this one death and this one poor mother had taken on epic proporations, to the point where one might think that Caylee was the only child ever murdered and Casey Anthony the only mother who was ever accused of murdering her child. The fact that a Casey-lookalike was run off the road (causing her car to roll multiple times) by someone who accused her of “killing babies” proved, at least to me, how gigantic this story became and how it inflamed so many people.

  222. Shawn July 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    A problem with e-mails is that you lose nuances of communication like body language, tone of voice etc. Beth there was no offense taken I wasn’t upset at all

  223. Beth July 18, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/ct-oped-0717-chapman-20110717,0,7165196.column

    It almost seems like this columnist has been reading our comments!

  224. Miriam July 18, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    You know, this is one of the rare times I completely disagree with an article on here.

    You didn’t know where you daughter was for SEVEN HOURS.

    Casey Anthony didn’t know where her daughter was for THIRTY-ONE DAYS.

    I really don’t see how there can be a comparison here. This law isn’t to criminalize parents who lose track of their kids for a few hours. It’s to criminalize parents who lose track of their kids for a month.

  225. pentamom July 18, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

    “I really don’t see how there can be a comparison here. This law isn’t to criminalize parents who lose track of their kids for a few hours. It’s to criminalize parents who lose track of their kids for a month.”

    The specific proposal that the OP is criticizing says nothing like that. It says “in a timely fashion,” which means that it’s up to anyone’s discretion how long that is. I prefer laws that clearly indicate their intent, rather than relying on how I *think* someone *ought* to apply them.

  226. Donna July 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    @Miriam – the law is absolutely NOT just criminalizing losing track of your child for a month. It criminalizes losing track of your child – by the definition of the state, not the parents – for 24 hours. We can’t assume that, because Casey Anthony was the motivation behind the law, it is only going to be used in extreme cases.

    The American public is fickle. Casey and Caylee Anthony will be forgotten shortly while the public and Nancy Grace move onto the next tragedy. The law would still be on the books to be used however the police and district attorneys want without anybody bothering to think about the original purpose. This is why laws made for emotional reasons, and usually named after people, are always a bad idea.

  227. Tiona July 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

    thank you! several of my friends have posted the pettion on FB and I did not (nor am I going to) sign it. What Anthony did was wrong, yes. But like many of the other “commentors” here I do see danger in the Caylees Law. What one builds as a shield another can use as a weapon… or in this case what one builds as a weapon another can use as a weapon of mass destruction… years ago I allowed a family member to take my son (who needed a car seat) on a short errand, after 2 hours they were still not back, we could not get an answer on their cell phone, so we checked where they said they were going; they were not there…. my husband was furious. When they finally showed up a total of 3 hours had passed; half of that time my hub & I were in a panic. The fam mem. did not understand why we were so upset, during the following argument we found out that the car used was on the verge of breaking down, that they had done original errand & decided to run across town with a dead cell. I still do not agree w/ that persons actions or reasons for not contacting me w/ change of plans; they had my kid, I should’ve been given a heads-up. The biggest reason they chose not to come back/call & get my OK? was cause they didn’t want to be told my kid could not go. If Caylees Law had been around then I’m pretty sure my hubs would’ve used it against our family. FAMILY that loves our kids, loves us, has been our support system for 11 years…. I do not agree w/ that persons decision, but they learned & I forgave (not sure if my hubs has though) And I can honestly say that I do not fully trust them, yes they have spent time alone w/ my kids since then, but there will always be that crack in our relationship, that BUT….

  228. John July 27, 2011 at 12:54 am #

    “The Caylee’s law proposed by Michele Crowder would make it a felony to not report a death after one hour”

    I have a huge problem with this. The sudden death of a child is a traumatic experience for ANY parent. Supposing an infant dies in his sleep from SIDS or a young child falls off his swing, breaks his neck and is killed instantly. A freak accident. In both cases, it is obvious that the child is dead. So the mother is in such stunned shock that she can’t even move let alone leave her dead child to make a phone call. Shock can, and will, do this to people. It is not until her husband comes home only to find this tragic scene, going into shock himself, before finally calling authorities. So now do we charge this poor bereaved mother with a felony and make her life even more miserable? Shock can easily produce a catatonic state and a situation like this would not be unusual.

  229. Jay August 5, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    oncefallendotcom said:
    “This online petition is exactly the reason why the uneducated have no business writing justice policy.”

    I think they (the uneducated) have no business writing any policy. Now if only we could apply this rule to Congress.

  230. djv September 29, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    I just found out that a similar bill has been introduced in Michigan – Sentate Bill No. 580. Anyone who lives in Michigan should contact their senator and representatives and let them know that this law won’t keep children any safer.

  231. Casey Anthony Shirt October 22, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Support Caylee’s Law!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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