SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — State Assemblymembers Isadore Hall, III (D- Los Angeles), Paul Cook (R – Yucaipa) and Cathleen Galgiani (D- Stockton) today lead a bi-partisan coalition of legislators in announcing the planned introduction of ‘Caylee’s Law’.
As to be introduced, ‘Caylee’s Law’ will make it a felony for a parent, guardian or caregiver to fail to report the death of a child to authorities within two hours of the child’s death. Additionally, the measure would make it a felony for a parent, guardian or caregiver to fail to report a missing child under the age of 12 to authorities within 48 hours of the child’s disappearance. The measure also includes an urgency clause, which, if approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, would take effect immediately.
California lawmakers were prompted to introduce this measure due to the 2008 death of Caylee Anthony, a Florida 2-year-old. Casey Anthony, Caylee’s mother, was recently acquitted of murdering the child, but found guilty of lying to authorities about the child’s whereabouts. In July 2008, only after Caylee had been missing for 31 days, did her grandparents report her missing to law enforcement. The remains of Caylee Anthony were discovered five months later.
While convicted of lying to law enforcement, Florida courts could do little to punish Casey for failing to report her daughter missing, as state law did not require parents to report missing or deceased children. California has a similar lapse in law.
“We have no greater responsibility than to protect the safety and welfare of California’s children,” said Assemblymember Isadore Hall. “The death of Caylee Anthony has sparked outrage and a nation-wide call for action. I am proud to lead California’s bi-partisan effort to protect our children and prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the golden state.”
In addition to Hall, Cook and Galgiani, Senator Tom Berryhill (R- Modesto) and Assemblymembers Kevin Jeffries (R – Murrieta) and David Valadao (R – Hanford) have signed on as early co-authors of this measure.
“Caylee’s death was an absolute tragedy,” said Assemblymember Paul Cook. “Unfortunately, what happened to Caylee could happen today in California. That’s absolutely unacceptable to me, and many of my colleagues agree. That’s why we’ve formed a bipartisan group to fix the problem. We have a responsibility to protect our children.”
Similar ‘Caylee’s Law’ efforts are currently underway in Florida, Oklahoma, New York, and West Virginia.