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Casey Anthony case prompts Senate committee to recommend harsher penalties for lying about missing children

by Dara Kam | November 3rd, 2011

A special Senate committee created in response to the murder of two-year-old Caylee Anthony and subsequent acquittal of her mother Casey wants to make it a felony to lie to law enforcement officials when a child goes missing and is hurt or killed, punishable by five years in prison.

Senate Select Committee on Protecting Florida’s Children Chairman Joe Negron, R-Stuart, proposed the measure heightening penalties under current law, now a misdemeanor for lying to law enforcement officials investigating crimes. Instead, Negron’s measure would make it a third-degree felony for anyone to “knowingly and willfully” give false information to law enforcement officers conducting an investigation involving a child 16 years of age or younger.

Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter, two-year-old Caylee Anthony, this summer but convicted of four counts of misleading law enforcement officers. An Orlando judge sentenced Anthony to four years behind bars – one for each count of lying to police officers – and she was released earlier this year after serving three years.

Under Negron’s proposal, Anthony could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Anthony’s acquittal prompted Florida legislators to file a flurry of “Caylee’s Law” measures, but Negron said he did not want to craft a new law specifically in response to the Anthony verdict. Unlike the other bills, Negron said he would not attach the child’s name to the measure.

“But the bottom line is, if your child is missing and you’re intentionally and willfully misleading law enforcement, that’s evil behavior and it won’t be tolerated. By making it a third-degree felony, I think we’re making that statement,” he said.

Anthony, now 25, was convicted of lying to investigators about working at a Universal Studios theme park, about leaving her daughter with an imaginary nanny, about leaving the child with friends and about receiving a telephone call from her.

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12 Responses to “Casey Anthony case prompts Senate committee to recommend harsher penalties for lying about missing children”

  1. Thompson Says:

    I do believe the wording in the first paragraph of this story is erroneous. You are stating that the child was murdered, we still do not know exactly what happened to Caylee Anthony, but Casey Anthony was acquitted. So who is the supposed murderer?

  2. Macster_1 Says:

    The term “Murdered” is not erroneous. The official autopsy is death by homicide of undetermined means. Homicide = Murder, regardless of a jury finding. Who is the murderer, you ask? Really? Seriously? KC Anthony is, of course.

  3. legal eagle Says:

    Enacting another meaningless law will surely prevent people from killing a child, but oooooo they will shudder to think of the repercussions of not reporting the child missing. Really?

    How about this: lets actually arrest people and have enough evidence to back up the charge so when it goes to trial, their is enough for the jury to convict. Call me crazy to think of that!

  4. Cotumarre Says:

    It’s interesting to see everything that has happened or everything that has been impacted by this trial. On going trials today have been directly impacted by this. Some say that jurors now are afraid of doing their jobs correctly, because they don’t want to experience the same reactions that the Anthony jurors have received. I think that right off the bat, they should not be afraid of that, because in the Anthony case this was a mother who KILLED her daughter, lied to the police and the whole world for 6 months saying that Caylee had been kidnapped by a non existent nanny, then she sat in jail for 3 years only to begin her trial by claiming that Caylee had drowned. This was an absolute nightmare, the worst part besides a beautiful child losing her life, was in all fairness that a jury that definetly should not have even been involved in a traffic violation dispute, was selected and obviously these people overwhelmed with something that escaped ther intelect.
    Sadly Caylee’s law will prevent this from happening to other children, but in the case of the child whose name this Law has, she will never get the justice she so much deserved.
    To wherever these 12 jurors are, may god forgive your incompetence, for we as society, as son’s daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, we will never forgive you for selling littles Caylee’s soul to your ineptitude.

  5. wow Says:

    Fl is so stupid, harsher penalties for lying about missing children, the woman got off for MURDER!!! What more of a harsher crime is this, all the evidence they had, please, forget lying, you get a harsher penalty for lying, but get off for MURDER!!!

  6. Thompson Says:

    Death by undetermined means would constitute to me that it was just that, not being able to determine how the child died. They had no proof whatsoever that this child died at a murderers hands. Was it possible that she died of a drowning…yes, anything is possible until proven otherwise!

  7. ELC Says:

    The Laws on the Books should be tougher, and in this case they will be. Its a step in the right direction but alot more has to be done. Its just the tip of the iceberg. The child was murdered by her mother no matter what-but Casey Anthony lied first to have law
    enforcement go on a wild goose chase.She should be sitting in prison now for many reasons-but what’s done is done. Hopefully, this state can now move on and change laws that don’t adequately work in the favor of the innocent.

  8. Cindy - Chicago Says:

    The murderer is in hiding in Florida until her parole is up – Just because 12 Pinellas county jurors chose to get out of town & go home, doesn’t mean Casey Anthony is innocent!!! What would be the reason in lying to law enforcement, unless she was involved. The jury set this monster free & Caylee Anthony will never get the justice she deserves!!!!!

  9. Coco Says:

    Besides all of this total mess in justice system one critical question remains::::::Who feeds her,who pays for her rent and bills,transportation etc..It is the State of Florida,Mr. Baez and his team–or she got everything for free?

  10. BerniA50 Says:

    @ Macster_1 I agree as do most of us! There are some folks, like the jurors in this case were, that are uneducated, inattentive, biased, selfish! The above proposal is such a great idea & I hope it passes, even though in Killer’s case, it is too late for her, kind of like it was too late for little Caylee that lots of things were done! Keep the faith folks, and remember, KARMA will come back and bite KILLER in the butt … when she least expects it! :-)

  11. Joice Swiney Says:

    who turns a accidental drowning into a murder?casey anthony,how did Caylee in up in a linen bag and two garbage bags casey anthony and who put Caylee in the swamps that monster of a mother casey anthony POINT BLANK

  12. Macster_1 Says:

    Thompson, it wasn’t “death” by undetermined means, it was HOMICIDE by undetermined means. No proof you say? You must have missed the testimony surrounding Chloroform. You must have missed the testimony of consciousness of guilt – by KC. You must have missed the testimony regarding a cover-up of the crime. If you are going to opine, and be a KC-apologist, at least get the facts straight.

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