Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caylee's Law: A Solution in Search of a Problem

"Caylee's Law," a follow-up to Florida's Casey Anthony case, is an effort to make it a felony if parents fail to report the death of a child within an hour, or fail to report a missing child within a day. Legislators in at least five states are working on similar bills, according to Time.

The idea is misguided, a knee-jerk reaction to a unfortunate case. How many parents are not reporting the death of their children? How does reporting the death of a child protect children?

I see the failure to report a death as an extremely rare event. The anguish that parents feel upon the death of a child makes reporting the event to the police an afterthought, but also under the proposed law a felony.

Prosecuting a grieving parent for not reporting the death of their child in a timely manner is morbid and absurd. Caylee's law is a solution in search of a problem. Why not have a law that says anyone who flies in outer space must report it to the transportation department within and hour? It probably happens as much as parents not reporting a child's death, unless of course the child was murdered by the parent--then reporting the murder is the least of the parent's concern.

Making the non-reporting of a child's death a felony is a joke. What is the purpose? It appears the sole purpose is to more effectively prosecute parents who kill their children--not prevent familial murder--but to more effectively prosecute it. A case gone bad (depending on how you look at it), and a lot of them do, and state lawmakers want to create a law to correct it.

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

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