Casey Anthony being found not guilty in the death of her 2-year-old daughter but guilty of lying to police as they investigated the case didn’t sit well with Michelle Crowder.
According to Time via cnn.com, the Oklahoma woman has started a petition that calls for a federal law that would make it a felony for parents to fail to notify police within 24 hours of a child’s disappearance or within an hour of a child’s death. Casey had waited 30 days before verifying that Caylee Marie Anthony was missing, and it wasn’t until Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, called police that Caylee was officially reported missing.
Crowder launched her petition on change.org, a social-change site, on Tuesday. As of 1:10 p.m. EST Thursday, July 7, 2011, the petition had 344,144 signatures.
Crowder’s story is interesting. According to the article, she has two daughters, ages 7 and 10, from two ex-husbands. Neither daughter lives with her, as she could not afford good divorce attorneys with what she earns in retail, call centers and fast-food restaurants, and she doesn’t have contact with either daughter. She hopes one day that they will reconnect.
Still, her motherly instinct prompted her to take action in an effort to protect little ones who can’t speak for themselves in such situations.
Crowder’s proposal aims for the federal level and has caught the attention of legislators from Oklahoma and Florida, the latter of which is where Casey resides. These lawmakers has expressed interest in sponsoring bills requiring parents to report missing children promptly, according to the article.
If the petition doesn’t get federal status for one reason or another — a law scholar at Harvard notes that criminal laws usually fall in state jurisdictions, according to the article — it is hoped that states will pick up the ball and keep it rolling, much like states followed New Jersey with Megan’s Law, which allows information about registered sex offenders to be dissipated to the public.
Megan’s Law was enacted in several states and at the federal level in the wake of the 1994 murder of Megan Nicole Kanka, 7, of Hamilton Township, N.J. Jesse Timmendequas, Kanka’s killer, was a convicted sex offender and one of the girl’s neighbors. He had been sentenced to death at his trial; however in 2007 the death penalty was abolished in New Jersey, so Timmendequas is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Caylee’s Law taking effect? Do you think it will become a reality? Feel free to post your thoughts, and thank you for reading and for your comments thus far.