After Casey Anthony Verdict, Lawmakers Pile On

Nature abhors a vacuum, and politicians abhor letting a news cycle go by without a way to get in the middle of it.

Thus, a day after a Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of the murder of her two-year old daughter Caylee, two New York legislators have proposed bills related to the case.

Both Assembly members Grace Meng of Queens and Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn have proposed legislation that would require parents and guardians to notify law enforcement in a “timely” manner if their charge goes missing (but, as Liz Benjamin notes, it is unclear what constitutes “timely”).

Says Ortiz:

In light of the deaths of various adolescents throughout our Country, New York needs to have protections and repercussions in law to protect our children. Over the past few years there have been numerous deaths and disappearances of children that have gone unreported: Genesis Sims, Age 7 of Colorado, Caylee Anthony, Age 2 of Florida, and most recently, Camden Pierce Hughes, Age 6 of Texas. None of these children’s deaths were immediately reported to law enforcement.

“Should a child suffer an untimely death, that child deserves justice. We can ensure that no parent goes unpunished for failing to report the disappearance or death of their child to law enforcement in a timely manner. I believe that this piece of legislation has the potential to protect and save numerous lives and provide consequences for those who fail to act.”

And Meng:

“While common sense suggests why the authorities were not notified, we must operate in the world of facts that can be substantiated.

“Legislating is about problem solving, and I believe it is a significant problem that New York State has no mandatory reporting law for parents, legal guardians, caretakers or other responsible adults to not notify law enforcement of the death of their child, accidental or otherwise, within atimely manner of the death being discovered.”

According to an Ortiz spokesman, neither legislator was aware that the other was proposing an identical bill.

After Casey Anthony Verdict, Lawmakers Pile On