BELLEVILLE – The third proposed law in New Jersey based on the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial in Florida has been announced.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, (D-28), Essex, said today he will introduce what would be the most stringent measure in the state.
There has been a national outcry over the case of Anthony, who was found not guilty in the death of her daughter, Caylee Anthony, and was found guilty only of lying to authorities. She did not report the child’s disappearance for a month.
Caputo said the bill he will introduce would make it a crime of the fourth degree for failure to report a missing child to police within 12 hours.
“Any law enforcement authority will tell you that the first few hours after a child goes missing are the most critical in determining whether that child is found and unharmed,” said Caputo in a release. “Sometimes parents, whether good or ill-intentioned, might wait longer than that to contact authorities, increasing the chances of a tragic ending.”
A fourth-degree crime is punishable by up to 18 months in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
Caputo said he intends to introduce the bill the next time the Assembly is in session.
Earlier this week, two Senate bills were introduced in reaction to the Anthony case.