Hooker, Jansen take on missing child cases with Caylees Law
State Rep. Tom Hooker and state Sen. Mark Jansen have introduced legislation that will make failure to report a missing child and failure to report a dead body felony offenses in Michigan.
House Bills 4872 and 4873 and Senate Bills 578 and 579 are in response to the recent murder trial in Florida, during which Casey Anthony was acquitted of killing her young daughter Caylee in 2008. Anthony did not report her child missing for 31 days, but was only convicted of lying to police, since failure to report a missing child is not currently a crime.
“Caylee’s Law is a common sense response to a gap in our laws,” said Hooker, R-Byron Center, a leading pro-life advocate in the House. “It is tragic that an innocent child had to die for us to see what is missing in our justice system, and while it’s too late to protect little Caylee Anthony, these laws may prevent another disaster like this. Being able to account for a child seems like something we shouldn’t have to legislate, but my colleagues and I would rather make it official than let another child slip through the cracks. I am and always have been pro-life and as far as I'm concerned, that extends to kids who have already been born.”
Michigan lawmakers and state legislatures across the country are attempting to close such loopholes in state laws by introducing variations of Caylee’s Law.
“The goal here is to correct an oversight in our laws and make it a felony for someone to ignore that a child is missing, or to conceal a dead body once found,” said Jansen, R-Gaines Township. “The waste of resources in Florida while law enforcement and volunteers searched for months for Caylee Anthony is regrettable. We believe having laws on the books that make it a felony not to report a missing child or dead body in a timely fashion will protect children and resources in the future.”
The Michigan bills would bring a felony charge when a missing child under the age of 13 is not reported within 24 hours. They would also make it a felony to conceal or fail to report a dead body immediately when found.
HBs 4782 and 4783 were referred to the House Judiciary Committee. SBs 578 and 589 are expected to be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August.
Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011
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