Caylee’s Law is the unofficial name for proposed bills in several U.S. states that would make it a felony for a parent or legal guardian to fail to report a missing child, in cases where the parent knew or should have known that the child was possibly in danger. The bill was introduced shortly after the high profile Casey Anthony trial, due to Anthony not reporting her two-year-old daughter Caylee Marie Anthony missing for a period of 31 days.
|Alabama||SB1||2013-06-10||Punishable by up to 10 years in prison.|
|Connecticut||HB 5512||2012-10-01||Public Act 12-112|
|Florida||HB 37||2012-04-06||Punishable by up to five years in prison|
|Illinois||SB 2537||2012-08-24||Public Act 097-1079|
|Louisiana||HB 600||2012-06-01||Act No. 454; Punishable by up to 1 year in prison.|
|New Jersey||A 4297||2012-01-05||A fourth-degree crime (felony).|
|North Carolina||HB 149||2013-05-17||Session Law 2013-52; Class I Felony; Punishable by up to 1 year in prison.|
|Oklahoma||SB 1721||Not yet approved||Approved by the Senate.|
|South Dakota||SB 43||2012-03-19|
|Virginia||HB 494||Not yet approved||Introduced by Richmond Delegate Rosalyn R. Dance.|
Critics and opponents of Caylee’s Law state various reasons for their opposition. Some critics say the law is unconstitutional in that it violates the 5th Amendment. Critics also claim the law will mostly harm innocent parents. The laws as proposed do not distinguish the cause or place of death, therefore even parents whose children die in the hospital due to sudden illnesses are still required to report the death to the local police within the law’s time frame or face felony charges in addition to the sudden tragic loss of their child.