A bill inspired by one of the Florida’s most notorious criminal cases, the disappearance and death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, went to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday.
The legislation would increase the penalty for making a false statement to police about a missing child from a year in jail to five years in prison.
The bill (HB 37) received a unanimous final vote from the Florida Senate without discussion or debate. It passed the House, also unanimously, on Feb. 29.
After public outrage over Casey Anthony’s acquittal, Senate President Mike Haridopolos created the Select Committee on Protecting Florida’s Children to determine if any changes should be made in Florida law.
The panel chaired by Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, examined but rejected the idea of setting deadlines for reporting a missing child or the death of a child to authorities as proposed in several other bills, some of them titled “Caylee’s Law.”
What could go wrong with a bill enacted with *no debate* after a tragedy that tugs on our heart strings?
These laws are terrible ideas for reasons I discussed at length.