Legislation sponsored by Senators Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union) and Diane Allen (R- Burlington) upgrading penalties for failing to report the disappearance or death of a child passed both houses of the legislature today and heads to Governor Christie’s desk.
If signed, “Caylee’s Law” the bill upgrades the charge for failing to report the death of a person to the proper authorities. It would now be a fourth degree crime. A new crime of failing to report the disappearance of a child within 24 hours is also created under the legislation, carrying fourth degree penalties as well.
Senator Tom Kean, Jr.:
The Casey Anthony trial in Florida showed us that some parents fail to exercise the common-sense and sound judgment of reporting their child as missing or deceased within a reasonable period of time. Caylee’s Law makes that sort of irresponsibility and negligence an appropriately serious offense. Particularly important is the provision in this bill that establishes a new crime for failing to report a child missing within 24 hours, which will help ensure cooperation with law enforcement and a speedy search effort.
Senator Diane Allen:
Nobody who is responsible for the care of a child should need to be reminded to report his or her death or disappearance, but it has become readily apparent that this legislation is necessary for a small number of individuals. This law will establishes appropriate punishments for this type of irresponsibility and negligence. No child should ever again be treated the way Caylee Anthony was.