Caylee Anthony law to be introduced in Nebraska
Caylee Anthony's death and the controversial acquittal of her mother, Casey, inspired several states to consider creating laws that would punish parents who failed to report a missing child within a day or two. Nebraska has now joined Florida and Maryland in debating similar legislation.
Nebraska state Sen. Pete Pirsch announced Thursday that he will introduce a version of "Caylee's Law" in Nebraska during their next legislative session.
"The death of a child under such circumstances is not very common," said Pirsch, a former criminal prosecutor. "But Caylee's case shows us it does happen. It is important that we have adequate laws in place to deter someone acting to hide the murder of a child, whether that person committed the murder himself or not."
A similar bill in Florida would make it a felony if a parent failed to report a child under 12 missing after 48 hours. If such a law had been on the books earlier, Casey Anthony would probably be in jail for 15 years instead of being released this weekend.
More than 1 million people have signed an online petition to encourage such laws to be drawn up.
"It's certainly something that we want to look into, because right now looking at the Maryland state law, we're not seeing anything that would fit the circumstances to the degree that we want to," Joseph Cassilly, a prosecutor in Harford County, Md., told the Associated Press earlier this month.
-- Tony Pierce
Andrew Malcolm is on vacation through Tuesday.
Photo: Edward Mehnert covers his mouth with duct tape as he protests during the Casey Anthony sentencing outside the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. Credit: Alan Diaz / Associated Press