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We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.

Caylee’s Law Drafted to Protect Parents and Missing Children

September 18, 2011

Please welcome guest poster, Marie Owens as she takes you through the ins and outs of Caylee’s Law. Caylee’s Law is the brain child  of Michelle Crowder from Durant, Oklahoma, an ordinary person like you and me, who decided to try and make a difference.  You can make a difference, too, by signing the petition located here: Sign the Petition for Caylee’s Law LINK

Caylee’s Law Drafted to Protect Parents and Missing Children

Caylee’s Law began as a legislative petition on the website, initiated by activist Michelle Crowder of Durant, Oklahoma. Crowder was inspired to form the law after following the high-profile Casey Anthony trial, which resulted in an acquittal of first degree murder charges stemming from the death of her daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony. It was alleged that Casey Anthony, who was aware of her daughter’s death, did not report her missing for a period of 31 days. Caylee’s Law, if enacted, would make it a felony for a parent or caregiver to fail to report a missing child within 24 hours in circumstances where the parent or caregiver should have known that the child may have been in danger. In fact, some colleges such as University of Pittsburgh are even incorporating classes revolving around the law for students attaining a criminal justice degree or law degree.

Opponents to the petition have expressed concerns about potential legal ramifications surrounding the narrow reporting time lines. In an interview with CNN, Ms. Crowder acknowledged that she had not consulted with law enforcement officials, medical experts or legal counsel before drafting her petition with the proposed 24-hour and one-hour time line. The portion of the proposed bill that requires a parent or caregiver to report a child missing within 24 hours does not address logical concerns as to when the child was actually missing, as opposed to when the parents realized the child was missing. Caylee’s Law has come under scrutiny by legal analysts regarding the potential for over-compliance. This could potentially result in false reporting by parents fearful of becoming suspects. Possible complications can arise when reporting a hospitalized child’s death, especially if the exact time of death is unclear, as in the unfortunate circumstances of natural disasters or tragic accidents.

Despite opposition, Caylee’s Law is critical legislation designed to prevent time lapses in reporting a missing child. The sooner a child is reported missing the chances of recovery are significantly greater. Amber alerts and media outcries for help can be put into action immediately, and search efforts can begin. The law is designed primarily to end irresponsible behavior on the part of parents and caregivers, as was evident in the Casey Anthony case. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement official reported that national statistics have shown that approximately 45 percent of missing and/or abducted children who are murdered die within the first hour of being reported missing. The number of deaths increases to 76 percent during the first three hours. These facts underscore the importance of Caylee’s Law.

Proposed legislation begins with a petition which is essentially an application for initiation of a new law and a solicitation for support. In-depth legal analysis and research will be conducted before the final draft of Caylee’s Law is completed. The law will be drafted precisely, assuring child safety without placing parents at risk of facing criminal charges

Caylee Anthony was reported missing by her maternal grandmother, Cindy Anthony on July 15, 2008, who related to an emergency dispatch operator that she had not seen her granddaughter for 31 days. Caylee’s mother, Casey Anthony, was charged with first degree murder of her daughter in October 2008. Casey Anthony initially told law enforcement detectives that her daughter had been kidnapped by her nanny on June 9, 2008 and that she had been spending her own time and resources searching for the child, as she was frightened to alert authorities to the disappearance.

The tragic and untimely death of Caylee Marie Anthony touched the hearts of many people worldwide. After many months of massive search efforts conducted by non-profit organizations and volunteers, her skeletal remains were ultimately discovered in a densely wooded area close to the Anthony family home. The televised trial of Casey Anthony in the summer of 2011 was described by Time magazine as “the social media trial of the century.” Casey Anthony was ultimately acquitted of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and manslaughter of a child, but was convicted of providing false information to police officers.

The basic premise of Caylee’s Law, as drafted by Ms. Crowder, is that parents would be charged with a felony if they fail to report a missing child within 24 hours, or if they fail to report the death of a child, under any circumstances, within one hour. The original petition, as cited on has garnered approximately 1.3 million electronic signatures since July 19, 2011. In response to Caylee’s Law petitions, law makers in several states have begun drafting versions of Caylee’s Law. Although the imposition of child reporting laws may not save missing children, Caylee’s Law will impose sanctions on parents who fail to report missing children. The possible sanctions or felony charges against parents is the basis foundation of the proposed law. An additional site known as Care 2 has drafted a similar petition in support of Caylee’s Law. The petition, targeted for the Florida Legislature, basically states that any parent or caregiver who fails to report a child under the age of six missing for over one hour is guilty of felony child neglect. A parent or caregiver who falsely reports the circumstances of an accident or injury to a child under the age of six is guilty of felony child neglect. To date, this petition has received approximately 4,750 signatures, with a stated goal of one million supporters.

Ms. Crowder’s initial petition was written in hopes that Caylee’s Law will protect children from injustices of the criminal justice system. Caylee’s Law may be a vehicle through which prosecutors are able to convict a suspected parent of some sort of felony, even though, as in the Casey Anthony case, they may not have sufficient evidence to obtain a murder conviction (

The proposed Caylee’s Law petitions, in preliminary form, are important in bringing forth legislation that could save the lives of many innocent children and force parents and caregivers to report missing children. Concerned citizens are encouraged to sign electronic petitions on the website or on the Care 2 petition site. Caylee’s Law can become crucial legislation for parents and law enforcement agencies in searching for and recovering missing children.

About Marie Owens: As a prospective law student in Washington state, Marie Owens is particularly interested in criminal law and gender issues. She writes to promote criminal justice education, and teaches martial arts in her spare time.

Caylee Anthony’s Death Can Make A Difference in Another Child’s Life

September 17, 2011

I think many of us who followed the Caylee Anthony case and watched in shock as her mother walked away a free woman have felt a sense of deep sadness and anger that justice was not served.  You could add the names of Haylee Cummings, Gabriel Johnson, Kyron Horman…..the list is seemingly endless.  It would be easy to throw up our hands and say, “There’s nothing I can do.  It sucks but it’s the truth, so I’m done.” But what if there is something you, as an individual, CAN do?  What if there is something ONLY you can do that might mean hope instead of despair for another child like Caylee? A lot of time and effort has been put in by a LOT of people to follow this case and others, me included.  The fact is, there was never anything we could have done to save Caylee. From the moment we heard her name it was too late.   But it’s not too late to save a whole lot of children destined to suffer Caylee’s fate if each of us would just step up and step out to help.

In an effort to promote ways we can make a difference in the lives of children at risk, I’m starting a series of articles to raise awareness of just what’s available out there that we, as concerned citizens who truly care for the welfare of all children, can do to make a difference.  Some involve a great deal of your time and some just a little. (like signing the petition for Caylee’s Law)

There are so many kids that need our help all around the world, many in our own backyards. (sometimes literally–think Jaycee Dugard)  Caylee Anthony was just one child at risk.  If her death can inspire just one person (you?) to stand up and do just one thing to help just one other child that still has a chance, then Caylee did not live in vain, and by her death many might truly benefit.

Don’t be a person that stands on the sidelines and watches.  Get in the race!  Make your life make a difference. I promise, it will rock your world in ways you could never imagine.

Tomorrow, I’m posting an article on Caylee’s Law by my first ever guest writer, Marie Owens.  She will be writing about Caylee’s Law.   Over 1.3 million people have signed that petition online. If you haven’t already, please add your signature to that list! We CAN make a difference!!!


CASA for Children

September 14, 2011


I haven’t written a post in a long time, mainly because I was so discouraged by the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. It is what it is, and even thought there is nothing anyone can do to change what happened to Caylee, there is plenty that can be done by us as individuals, to make a real difference in another child’s life. One of those ways is Caylee’s Law, and I will be publishing an article by a guest poster on that legislation in the next few days. Another way is to join or support CASA. (Court Appointed Special Advocate) I went through the training this summer, and got my first case in July. The two young sisters I’ve had the pleasure of watching out for and getting to know has made as much of an impact on my life as I hope it has on theirs. I KNOW I’m making a difference for them. It’s just a little thing, but at least it’s SOME thing. Check it out at the link above. You won’t regret it.

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget he is someone today.  (Stacia Tauscher)



July 5, 2011: Casey Anthony-NOT GUILTY

July 5, 2011

Wow. I’m in shock.  I don’t know what to say.  Today, July 5, 2011, a woman got away with murdering her little girl.  Casey Anthony got away with murder.  She can’t be tried again.  She may actually walk out the door Thursday morning for time already served.

All I can say is I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall in that jury room.  It makes absolutely no sense to me how they could have come back with that verdict in less than–what? 24 hours?

George and Cindy walked out of the courtroom with solemn, not joyful faces.  I wonder if they will allow Casey back in their home?

I can’t write anymore right now.  I’m just stunned.

Casey Anthony’s life is now (finally) in the hands of the Jury

July 4, 2011

This morning started with Jeff Ashton as he methodically checked off every argument (outrageous or otherwise) the defense put forth in their closing arguments. He did it brilliantly.  I won’t go into great detail here other than to say, IMO, he removed George as a suspect of anything.  He clearly demonstrated that the skull and body parts of little Caylee had been in the woods for months, that Roy Kronk was an embellisher of the truth, but not a confiscator of the body or a planter of the body. He showed how the duct tape was clearly attached to the skull and why there was no DNA on it.  He stated “People don’t make accidents look like murder.”  He showed that law enforcement didn’t tamper with evidence, and they certainly were looking for a missing Caylee at first. They also gave Casey every opportunity to say it was an accident.  He tied Casey only to the death of Caylee.  He did a great job.

If you missed closing arguments you will find them at this LINK

Jeff Ashton gave the jury an easy to understand explanation of what 1st degree murder means:

1. Pre-meditated murder: When a person kills another human being pursuant to a pre-planned act or scheme.

2. Felony murder: When a person kills another human being while engaged in the commission, or attempted commission, of the following statutorily enumerated felonies, regardless of whether they intended to kill anybody.

(for our purposes I’m only going to name one felony, though there are 17 others.)

AGGRAVATED CHILD ABUSE.  Aggravated child abuse is defined as: 1)Committing an aggravated battery on a child. 2)Willfully torturing, maliciously punishing, or willfully and unlawfully caging a child. 3)Knowingly or willfully abusing a child and in so doing causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.

So, what this means is, if Casey taped Caylee’s mouth to keep her quiet, and she accidentally died, or if Casey chloroformed Caylee so that she could go party with her friends, and Caylee accidentally died, then that’s 1st degree felony murder, and she can still get the death penalty.  Accident or on purpose, it’s still punishable by DEATH or life in prison.

Next up was Linda Drane Burdick. I’m telling you,  Jeff Ashton was great, but Linda Drane Burdick was simply brilliant.  If you missed her you can see it at the link in the first paragraph of this post.

I’m only going to mention the last part of her rebuttal. She could have skipped everything else and jumped right to it and still been just as effective.  It was that good.

LDB: At the end of this case all you have to do is ask yourself this simple question.  “Who’s life was better without Caylee?  Was Cindy Anthony’s life better?  (she plays the 911 tape where Cindy was hysterical) Was George’s life better?  Mr. Ashton went over what George Anthony’s life was like as a result of losing his beloved granddaughter.  Who’s life was better? That’s the only question you need to answer in considering why Caylee Marie Anthony was left on the side of the rode dead.

LDB then put up a split screen picture showing Casey partying her brains out at Fusion while Caylee was “missing” on one side of the frame and a picture of Casey’s shoulder displaying her tat,”The beautiful life”, on the other.

*(These are separate photos I found on the internet . Not the split screen photo the prosecution showed.)
LDB: There’s your answer.

It doesn’t get any better than that. Bravo Ms. Burdick.

Judge Perry read the instructions to the jurors and then it was over. 

Verdict watch  has began.  I’m predicting that if the jury comes back in the next 48 hours, she will be convicted of 1st degree murder.  Later than that, and I think it’s off the table. Am I wrong?