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Caylee's Law

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Caylee’s Law

Abstract
This report is written as a case study to inform the reader of Caylee’s Law. This law was writing up after a high profile case of a Florida women and the disappearance and murder of her daughter. Casey Anthony gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Caylee Marie Anthony in 2005. Caylee was only two years old at the time of her disappearance and the last person to see her alive was her mother. It wasn’t until a month later that the grandmother, Cindy, informed the police of the missing child. The grandparents became alarmed when George Anthony picked up Casey Anthony’s car at a tow yard and it smelled like there had been a dead bod in the truck. The mother was charged with the murder of the child but was acquitted of the charges months later. Casey Anthony was, however, found guilty and sentenced to four years in jail for lying to law enforcement. People became outraged at the verdict and to prevent this from happening to another child they petitioned for a law that makes it a felony for the parent or the guardian not to report their child missing or dead.

Caylee’s Law Casey Anthony, a high school dropout, became pregnant at the age of nineteen. She gave birth to a daughter named Caylee Marie Anthony on August 9, 2005. Caylee lived with her mother and grandparents, Cindy and George in Orlando Florida. The identity of the baby's father, however, remained a mystery. Casey pointed to different men, including her fiancé, Jesse Grund, as well as a young man she had dated previously, who had died in a car crash. A DNA test would later found that Grund was not Caylee's father. The identity of Caylee's father remained unknown. On June 15, 2008 Cindy and Casey got into an agreement about Casey being an unfit mother and Cindy threatened to take custody of Caylee. The day after the argument Casey told her parents she was going to work at Universal Studios in Tampa. She left her parent’s home, taking Caylee with her. Over the next month, Cindy was constantly checking up with her daughter to check on Caylee. Every time she called Casey told Cindy that Caylee was with the babysitter, Zenaida “Zanny” Frenandez-Gonzalez. On July 13, 2008 Casey’s parents received a letter that stated Casey’s car was in a tow yard. When George picked up the car he found Casey’s purse and some of Caylee’s toys and car seat. He also noticed a strong smell, like that of an organic matter decomposing, coming from the trunk. Disturbed by the news, Cindy found Casey at her boyfriend’s, Tony Lazaro, house and brought her home. Casey then told her mom and brother that she had left Caylee with her nanny, Zanny and that Zanny kidnapped her on June 16th. Two days after Cindy learned of Caylee’s disappearance, she called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to report her missing. When the detectives questioned Casey she admitted to not seeing Caylee for more than thirty days. They also found many discrepancies in the signed statement she gave. Casey told the detectives that Caylee had been kidnapped by the nanny but they found out later that there was no nanny and that Casey had lied and said she worked at Universal Studios when she was actually fired years before. Casey was arrested on July 16th for suspicion of child neglect, filing a false official statements and obstructing a criminal investigation. On August fifth, Casey is formally charged with child neglect after the sheriff’s office searches Casey’s car and a cadaver dog picks up the scent of human decomposition. The Police also finds hair, dirt and a stain in the trunk. The Sheriff’s department says a sample of the air from the trunk shows that it once held a decomposing body. The towing company’s manager also testified to the smell, saying it was detectible even with the car closed but far stronger when the doors and trunk were opened. The decomposition of a human body is a very unique and recognizable smell to anyone with experience with it, and the manager testified that he has had that experience. A preliminary test done by the FBI show the presence of chloroform also in Casey’s car. During the search for Caylee, Casey’s life became under increasing scrutiny for her actions leading up to the days before Caylee’s disappearance. Casey was partying and even got a tattoo that read “Bell Vita” meaning beautiful life in Italian. On August 21st, a bounty hunter Leonard Padilla had posted bail for Casey in hope that she would lead the detectives to Caylee. Disappointed by Casey when she failed to give any more clues, he labeled her narcissistic and promiscuous. Casey went back to jail only eight days after she was released due to forging checks and using a friend’s credit card without permission. On October 14th, 2008 a Florida grand jury indicts Casey Anthony on capital murder and other charges. On December 11, 2008 a meter reader, Roy Kronk, found a plastic bag of human remains in a wooded area near the Anthony’s house. On December 19th the remains were confirmed to be Caylee Anthony. Duct tape was found over the mouth, holding the jaw bone to the rest of the skull. The placement of the duct tape is key in the prosecution’s case for foul play. On May 9, 2011 the trial begins with jury selection. This process took eleven days to finish. On May 25th Casey Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, opened her defense with the claim that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family’s swimming pool on June 16, 2008, and that Casey’s father, George, helped her to cover it up. They also alleged that Casey was sexually abused by her father and brother and hid her daughter’s death like she hid the secret of her alleged sexual abuse. The defense also attempted to cast suspicion on Kronk, the meter reader. Defense attorneys asserted that he had found Caylee's remains months earlier than he claimed and that he hid them before placing them where they were found. He did that, they claimed, just before notifying authorities in an effort to cash in on the high-profile case. Kronk denied those allegations, according to his attorney. He testified on the stand that after calling police three times in August 2008 to report something suspicious in the woods, a deputy met him at the scene and "chewed me out," telling him he was wasting the county's time. He said he dropped the matter after that until he revisited the scene in December and found Caylee's skull (Hayes, 2011). There was also searches conducted on the Anthony computer were another focus of the state's case. Computer experts testified that in March 2008, three months before Caylee disappeared, someone searched for keywords including "chloroform," "how to make chloroform" and "alcohol." However, Cindy Anthony took the stand during the defense's case and testified that she searched for chloroform, saying that evolved from a search for "chlorophyll" as she was trying to determine if her dog's habit of eating bamboo plants in the back yard was making it tired. Prosecutors introduced work records showing Cindy Anthony was at work at the time the searches were conducted. She said she could have left early that day, as she often took comp time from working overtime. An attorney for Cindy Anthony's former employer took the stand as a rebuttal witness. He brought work records that he said showed that someone using Cindy Anthony's credentials was logged in and using a desktop computer at her office on the days when those searches were done on her family's home computer (Hayes, 2011). On July 4th, 2011, the jury starts their deliberations. The seven women, five man jury took only ten hours, forty minutes, and thirty-three seconds before coming back with a verdict. Casey Anthony was found not guilty of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child. She was found guilty of four counts of providing false information to law enforcement. Casey was sentenced to four years in jail and these years would be served consecutively and will include the time she has already served. She was also fined a thousand dollars for each count. She was released from jail shortly after midnight after serving three years and one day. She must serve one year of supervised probation on a check-fraud conviction. The judge also ruled that Casey owed the authorities approximately $217,000 for the cost of searching for Caylee. In December a federal bankruptcy judge grants Casey Anthony a standard bankruptcy discharge which means she will not have to pay most of her debts. Four states started drafting up a law which is being referred to as “Caylee’s Law” just two days after Casey Anthony was found not guilty of murdering her two year old daughter Caylee. With this law it is tightening up the requirements on missing person reports. This law will make it a felony for a parent or guardian not to notify authorities within twenty-four hours of a child’s death. It also calls for felony charges if the death of their child is not reported within an hour of the incident. Some people argue that there are pros and cons to this law. The original version of Florida’s proposed Caylee’s Law was a strict liability law, meaning child-service providers and even parents trying to help kids could be punished if they didn’t follow new prescriptions for how suspected child abuse must be reported. For instance, parents and guardians of a difficult 12- or 13-year-old who may have a tendency to disappear to friends’ houses, could unintentionally find themselves on the wrong side of the law. If those parents don’t properly report their child missing they could technically become felons and face years in prison. People in child-serving community and some in law enforcement also voiced concerns that the new laws could confuse parents as to whether they are required to wait a certain time to report a child missing. The good part about this law is that it encourages the timely reporting of child abuse which should help protect children in dangerous situations. As of right now the law is officially approved in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Wisconsin (Riparbelli, 2011).

References
Casey Anthony. (2015). The Biography.com website.
Retrieved from Biography: http://www.biography.com/people/casey-anthony-20660183#video-gallery

Crime Library. (2015). Casey Anthony Trial
Retrieved from Crime Library: http://www.crimemuseum.org/crime-library/casey-anthony-trial

Bright House Networks (2015). THE TIMELINE IN THE CASE AGAINST CASEY
Retrieved from News 13: http://www.mynews13.com/casey-anthony-timeline.html

CNN. (2014, July 1). Casey Anthony Trial Fast Facts
Retrieved from CNN Library: http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/us/casey-anthony-trial-fast-facts/

Hayes, A. (2011, July 5). Casey Anthony Not guilty of murder, other charges in daughter’s death
Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/07/05/florida.casey.anthony.trial/

Riparbelli, L. (2011, July 7). Casey Anthony Trial Aftermath: Caylee’s Law drafted in 4 states
Retrieved from ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/US/casey-anthony-trial-aftermath-caylee-law-drafted-states/story?id=14020260

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