"Caylee's Law," a bill inspired by the alleged murder of Caylee Anthony that would make it a felony for a parent to not report their child missing within 24 hours of his or her disappearance, was approved by the Arizona House of Representatives yesterday.
Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, as you probably recall, was acquitted last summer of charges that she murdered her daughter.
As you also may recall, the majority of Americans seem to think Casey Anthony got away with murder -- including Arizona Senator Linda Gray, who told New Times last year that "I think [Anthony's] guilty. I think she had something to do with the death of her child."
In response to Gray's apparent lack of faith in the judicial system, she introduced "Caylee's Law."
"Even if Florida had this law [at the time of Caylee's disappearance] it wouldn't have made a difference," Gray concedes.
In other words, Caylee Anthony would still be dead, even with a law like the one proposed in place. However, the difference, Gray says, is the punishment Anthony would have receieved for not reporting her daughter missing for 31 days would have been far more severe than the one to which she was sentenced.
While acquitted of the murder and child abuse charges, Casey Anthony was found guilty of four counts of lying to police and given the maximum sentence for each crime -- a year in jail -- to be served consecutively. However, because of time served and good behavior, Anthony was released from police custody shortly after her trial. She might still be in jail -- rather than a free woman -- if the law Gray proposes already was in place.
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Gray's bill would make exceptions for older kids, runaways, or cases of divorced parents not bringing the child back in time.
The bill's become a bit of a hot topic -- some say it's a waste of time, and "stems from fruitless outrage at a freakish event." Others argue it could prevent future tragedy, or at least create an incentive to report children missing as soon as possible, which could have aided in the retrieval of valuable forensic evidence that was lost with time in the Anthony case.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it's also expected to pass.
For more on "Caylee's Law," click here.