Casey Anthony Acquittal Prompts Push For 'Caylee's Law'
The petition for a federal law has collected more than half-million signatures and aims to “prevent another case like this from happening.”
According to local reports, proposals for "Caylee's Law" have been filed in Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, and other states.
Legislators in Florida, Oklahoma, New York and West Virginia have announced that they will propose their versions of "Caylee’s Law."
Oklahoma Rep. Paul Wesselhoft told ABC that several of his constituents emailed him about Crowder’s petition and that he plans to propose a law at the legislative session in his state in 2012.
"Yesterday, I got a lot of emails from my constituents who are very outraged by the trial and the verdict," Wesselhoft said. "We're all outraged that Caylee did not receive justice. There's no question about that."
Wesselhoft (R-Okla.) said he would propose a law which would explicitely criminalize failure to notify authorities within 24 hours of a child dying. The Oklahoma lawmaker also wants to propose legislation that would require parents to alert authorities about runaways under age 12 within an appropriate timeframe, but agreed that setting a time is difficult in such situations "because you don't know when the clock starts."
The Casey Anthony trial riveted the nation for weeks. The trial seemed like a slam-dunk case against the toddler’s mother, who for 31 days failed to report that her child was missing, according to a 911 call. Yet prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt due to unclear cause of death and motive, and lack of DNA or fingerprint evidence.
Anthony was convicted only of providing false information and lying to police. She is scheduled to be released from prison July 17.
Judge Belvin Perry, who sealed the names of the jurors in the case from the public, has kept them sealed despite media requests to release jurors' names. Judge Perry noted the anger from the public following the Anthony’s acquittal.
"People have no reservation or hesitation about walking up to an individual pulling a gun, a knife or any other type of weapon and because they disagree with them, hurt them or kill them," Judge Perry said Thursday.
Juror names are usually public record, with a few exceptions for cases involving gangs or organized crime.