State Legislators Push For “Caylee’s Law”
HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-A notorious crime involving a murdered toddler could soon have an impact on child welfare laws in Alabama.
SB1, better known as “Caylee’s Law”, has been pre-filed and will await state lawmakers when they return to Montgomery in the spring.
The proposed law would make failure to report a missing child a felony offense if that child ends up harmed or killed, with a conviction carrying up to ten years in prison.
The bill is named in honor of Caylee Anthony, a two-year old Florida girl who was murdered in 2008. Authorities said Caylee’s mother Casey Anthony waited an entire month before reporting her daughter missing, an action that was not illegal in Florida and many other places at the time. A jury acquitted Casey Anthony of murder charges last year.
The Alabama House passed Caylee’s law during the 2012 legislative session, but the bill ended up dying in the Senate after it got stuck behind other legislation. State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison) said the statute would close a key loophole in child welfare laws.
“A heinous act like this [Anthony case] will bring to light a deficiency in the laws, and I think that’s what happened in this case,” said Rep. Ball. “I don’t know of any house member or senator that opposes addressing this issue, and if there’s not any opposition, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be able to get a good law and get it passed.”
Several other states have already passed their own versions of Caylee’s Law in the last year, including Illinois just two weeks ago.
State Sen. Bryan Taylor (R-Prattville) is the official sponsor of SB1.