Posted on Jul 22, 2011
Just about everyone has heard about the Casey Anthony case in Florida and her acquittal on all charges except lying to investigators. This has sparked a movement across the country to propose stronger legislation regarding reporting missing or dead children, commonly referred to as "Caylee's Law."  At least 16 states have done so. Here in New Jersey, State Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco (along with John Amodeo and Vince Polistina) has proposed such a law. A bill was also introduced in the Senate by Sen. Nicholas Sacco on July 11, 2011.

According to DiCicco, this law would require "a parent or guardian to report a young child missing within 24 hours. Failure to do so would be a third-degree crime carrying a three to five-year sentence with a mandatory three years served. Purposefully concealing a death would be considered a second-degree crime punishable by five to 10 years imprisonment."

The current New Jersey law addressing this classifies it as a disorderly person's offense (NJ's version of a misdemeanor) with a presumption against incarceration, and does not set forth a time frame for reporting the child missing. The bill's sponsors believe that there should be a defined time period and more significant consequences.  Amid this wave for change, there are those who question whether we need a new law or whether the current laws on the books (such as child abuse) would suffice.  Others staunchly support it.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out through the legislature in the next few months and whether, in the long run, it does help protect our children.

Read More About New Jersey Reacts to Casey Anthony Case By Proposing Its Own Caylee's Law...

Steven J. Richardson
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