Florida Child Death Case Leads to More Proposed Legislation in Pennsylvania

The Caylee Anthony case in Florida has sparked legislation in a number of states.   The little girl was missing for a month before her disappearance was reported and she was later found dead.

State Representatives Justin Simmons and Tarah Toohill want to toughen penalties for concealing the death of a child and making false reports to police. Representative Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton) would make concealing the death of a child a third degree felony and increase the penalty.  House Bill 1842 would apply to natural parents, step parents, adoptive parents, guardians or custodian of a child. He says this provision would close a loophole in the current law.

Representative Toohil (R-Luzerne) has introduced a companion measure, House Bill 1841, aimed at those who make false statements to police. Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother, was convicted of lying to police, a misdemeanor in Florida and Pennsylvania.  Toohil’s bill increases it to a third degree felony.

Rep Toohil was asked if Pennsylvania has had cases similar to Caylee Anthony’s. She was not aware of any, but added they need to prevent these types of situations from occurring.  She believes if the standards in Florida were stricter, there would have been consequences in the Anthony case.

State Senator Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia) has proposed similar legislation regarding concealing the death of a child.