The Casey Anthony trial is sparking a legislative effort in Pennsylvania. State Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) plans to introduce “Caylee’s Law”, named after the Florida girl who was missing a month before her disappearance was reported. The 2-year-old was later found dead.
Concealing the death of a child is only a first degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania right now. Senator Farnese wants to change that to a third degree felony. The current penalty is a maximum of 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Raising the degree of the charge would increase the maximum sentence to 7 years and the fine to $15,000. Farnese says he was surprised to see concealing the death of a child is currently a minor offense in Pennsylvania.
Farnese also wants to add a new offense, neglecting to report a missing child, making it a first degree misdemeanor. He says they would want to consider the state of mind and the intent of a potential defendant.
He believes the state needs to move quickly in addressing this issue. Farnese hopes Congress will consider getting a national law on the books to make sure this never happens again. He says regardless of the jury’s verdict in the Anthony trial on the murder charges, most people agree the mother’s conduct following her child’s disappearance was shocking and reprehensible. He says we have to address the fact there’s nothing on the books right now to protect the children.
Casey Anthony was charged in the death of daughter, Caylee, but acquitted by a Florida jury of all charges except four counts of lying to authorities.