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Aethelflaed's avatar

Are you in favor of "Caylee's Law"?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13752points) July 12th, 2011

Caylee’s law is a proposed federal bill that would charge parents with a felony if they fail to report a missing child within 24 hours, or if they fail to report the death of a child within an hour.

The online petition already has 1 million signatures. Here’s an article arguing against it.

Are you for this law, or against it (or, don’t care even a bit)? Why or why not?

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47 Answers

Hibernate's avatar

I haven’t heard about it till now.
I shall return when I’ll understand it better and answer then.

Though my first impression is not good… after an hour ? let’s be serious .. those parents are in such a grief they can’t think straight. But for the missing part .. well he might say he’s at a friend and when you contact him to find out he’s missing or such .. there are those kids who run away from home a lot then return .. why is this the parent fault ?

jrpowell's avatar

DON’T EVER PASS LAWS ON SHIT IN THE NEWS. We end up with garbage like The Patriot ACT.

TexasDude's avatar

I second @johnpowell.

Even if law’s look good on the surface, I’m severely wary of them when they are proposed or passed in response to some media-driven controversy.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

For the same reason ”Three Strikes You Are Out” was a terrible dumb law this one is equally as asinine. For many of the reasons that article said, it is wroth with problems. Such as if the kids is known to spend time at other friends and tells the parents that but runs away by the time anyone realizes what has happened it could be beyond the two hour window. It is knee jerk legislation that is just bad, bad, bad, I hope it goes down quicker than the Hindenburg.

roundsquare's avatar

As with @Hibernate I want to learn more. But my first thought is: heart in good place, head up ass.

roundsquare's avatar

Wait, as a proposed federal law? I’m no constitutional expert… but I don’t think the federal government can constitutionally pass this kind of law. Anyone who knows more care to chime in?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have heard of this, but I haven’t read into it, yet. I am not quick to jump on the bandwagon. I like the idea, I like the premise… but I doubt I like the actual proposal. The suggested time frames are definitely too strict, in my opinion.

Blondesjon's avatar

I read the Huffington article last night before I left for work and I agree with it 100%.

I hope that Casey Anthony gets hers. Whether she murdered her daughter or not, she’s a shitty human being and a bad mother. Still, I don’t believe passing a law that is almost impossible to enforce properly is going to solve anything.

for those of you that haven’t read the article linked in the body, quit being lazy and fucking read it. it only takes about three minutes of your life and you’ll waste waaay more than that anyplace else on the internet.

poisonedantidote's avatar

Erm…. don’t cops usually say “sorry, we can’t do anything until the kid has been missing 24 hours”.

So, What one is it?

Blondesjon's avatar

@poisonedantidote . . . Yes, but with the new law if you wait longer than 24 hours to report it, you are committing a crime.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@poisonedantidote Actually, I think it’s 48 hours. That’s the (arbitary?) point at which a kid is no longer just with a friend, or having a bit of a run away after a fight, or whatever, but rather Something Has Happened. So yeah, you’d have to report them a day before the police could do anything.

@Blondesjon Me too. And I lurve you for telling people to read the article – normally, I’m not huge on HuffPo, but I quite like this article. Nor am I a fan of Anthony’s, by a long shot, but I don’t think punishing good parents is the way to solve it. And really, if you’re at the point of murdering your child, you’re not really worried about breaking a law about how quickly you need to report it. No momster is out there going “Well, I was going to off my 4 year old, but I really don’t want to get in trouble for not reporting it right away, so I guess I’ll just let her live.”

janbb's avatar

Someone said that any law that has a person’s name on it is probably a bad law and I think I agree.

Blondesjon's avatar

@janbb . . . even murphy’s?

janbb's avatar

@Blondesjon Well, that may be the exception…..

picante's avatar

I am very much against legislating common sense. Any normal human being would not have acted as Casey Anthony did. She’s abnormal.

I’m actually surprised that her actions (aside from the likely murderous act she committed) can’t be more felonious in nature. Seems like her wreckless abandonment, her willful hiding of the truth, her extreme shittiness ought to have brought about more severe punishment. I didn’t follow all the actual charges against her, but I’m sorry she’s not paying a much heavier price for her actions. And I’m sorry she’s free to breed again.

Blondesjon's avatar

@picante . . . I am very much against legislating common sense.

Well put.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I would maybe be for this law, but only after we pass a law to stop blowing up kids in the middle east. Why do so many people care about one case that has nothing to do with their lives, while their tax dollars are murdering people in other countries? Oh yeah, because those kids aren’t white.

Why can’t we do something like this to stop wars or stop the IMF which rapes women and entire countries and gets away with it?

Poser's avatar

Thanks for bringing my attention to this subject. I was unaware that such a law was in the works, and just emailed my state Senator and Representative on the subject.

Con, for the record.

john65pennington's avatar

I am for Caylees Law. I cannot understand why the police were never called, in her disappearance. I am beginning to think the whole family was involved in her death and coverup.

Blueroses's avatar

This proposed legislation feels like an emotional knee-jerk reaction to the people’s wish that Casey Anthony could have been convicted of something. The linked article makes some very good points about why this law is a bad idea. It won’t do anything to find or protect children, its only purpose is to guarantee the prosecution a selling point in the rare cases where the parents are responsible for a child’s disappearance or death.

DominicX's avatar

I agree with the people who think the “heart” is in the right place, but practically, it’s a bad idea. Most people are not like Casey Anthony. It sucks that she was convicted when she was obviously guilty, but that’s life, and people have to get over it. This isn’t going to solve the problem.

dannyc's avatar

No. There are already laws to deal with this. The woman was found not guilty. One may not agree with this, but probably should spend more time finding out how OJ wasn’t convicted, than concocting special laws for this situation. If you do not like the jury system then change the constitution. It has generally served well, though there are bound to be flaws in dealing with any set of specific people. Only on Fox News is everybody always right.

downtide's avatar

I haven’t heard of it, but I wonder why this is not covered under current laws regarding neglect? I’m sure this is all un-necessary and just a publicity stunt fuelled by the media.

sinscriven's avatar

I think it’s a terrible idea.
The proposal is clearly reactionary, very poorly thought out, and written to address a situation that is extremely uncommon, and also no longer subject to these laws, so it’s completely pointless.

I think the HuffPo article nails it on why it’s a bad piece of work. It relies on criteria that is not provable in medical science to the level of accuracy that the bill is suggesting, And would make felons out of scared and grieving parents not to mention completely clog police departments with pre-emptive missing childrens reports when they need to be working on actual serious cases. All that crap because they want to “get back” at people and a system that didn’t give them satisfaction in vengeance.

I’m actually thinking it may be a better idea to make laws specially protecting jurors and that harassing, intimidating them, and making death threats on them to be a serious felony instead.

picante's avatar

Hear, hear @sinscriven!! Can we make listening to Nancy Grace a felony, too?

augustlan's avatar

[mod says] This is our Question of the Day!

bob_'s avatar

It would violate the Fifth Amendment.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m all for it. I was all for Amber Alert too. Here in my state it’s worked to save several children and at least one mom.

If Caylee’s law goes into effect, at least a parent like Casey would be guilty of parental neglect.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@poisonedantidote That 24 hour thing is more for adults and teenagers. If a 4 year old goes missing, they’ll get right on it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How would it voilate the Fifth, @bob_?

bob_'s avatar

@Dutchess_III You have a right to remain silent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bob_! That wouldn’t apply in this case!

SpatzieLover's avatar

Not reporting a crime is against the law @bob_. This law would make not reporting a missing child against the law. It would not violate the 5th.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Casey stood on the Fifth at her trial.

bob_'s avatar

@Dutchess_III @SpatzieLover Say you killed your child. The Fifth Amendment says that no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. Therefore, you shall not be compelled to report it.

The Fifth Amendment was not my idea, but that’s what it says.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think what he’s trying to say @SpatzieLover, is that the Fifth means we have the right to not report our child missing if there is no reason to think a crime was committed…or if we were the ones to commit the crime.

I don’t think that would work, dude.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I get what he is saying and what the article linked above is saying. What this law would do is circumvent a pleading of the fifth as a parent with a missing child…no matter how the child “went missing”.

To me the time in which a parent/guardian has to report their child missing is vital. Since it wasn’t a law, this mom got away with not reporting her child as missing. As a parent, I can’t fathom not reporting my child missing. As a citizen I don’t comprehend why this isn’t already a law.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, he’s got me to thinking….is there a lawyer in the house? Common sense would tell you that it would be illegal not to report your child missing, but…it almost does violate the 5th, if you’re the one who committed the crime.

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Jaxk's avatar

This is an asinine law. There is nothing that can be done about Casey no matter how much you want it to change. The same sort of reaction came forth after the OJ verdict. If you want to address these issues where you don’t like the verdict, you need to pass a law that says they should be prosecuted by the media. let everyone vote on them like American idol. That way everyone can get the vengeance they feel they so richly deserve.

Otherwise let it go. The prosecution overcharged and poorly prosecuted the case. A felony conviction for overzealous prosecution might be a better plan.

roundsquare's avatar

@bob_ I haven’t taken con law yet, but I don’t see it in the text of the 5th amendment. The closest I see is: “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself” which isn’t quite the same. Does what you’re saying come from case law?

Aethelflaed's avatar

@roundsquare Maybe this will help – I know that in real life (NOT tv shows) that cops aren’t allowed to threaten you with obstruction of justice if you don’t give them the dirt on your old boss, because they don’t know if you are guilty or not, and it violates the 5th in the same way @bob_ is alluding to.

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is interesting. Where the hell are all the lawyers around here??

bob_'s avatar

@roundsquare According to Wikipedia:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I’m not a lawyer.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@bob_ Something has to supersede that in certain situations…obstruction of justice or child endangerment or…. something. That’s why I want a lawyer. Someone who knows more than what just seems to be the obvious here.

Now be quiet and get me a lawyer!

bob_'s avatar

@Dutchess_III Yeah, sounds like you need one.

AshlynM's avatar

People need to use common sense. I think the proposed law is a little harsh. I don’t see how it could possibly be enforced.

I agree. Naming laws after victims is generally a bad idea. It’s more out of emotional reaction than reasoning. I’d like to know who suggested this law and how they came to reach those specific numbers with it? What was the reasoning behind the numbers?

Why does there always have to be the death of a child before a law is named after them to prevent what happened to them in the first place?

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