Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: February 22, 2012
Senate committee advances Caylee’s Law
The state Senate today approved legislation requiring parents or
guardians to report that a child has gone missing within a 48-hour
period. Authored by Sen. Ralph
Shortey, “Caylee’s Law” was motivated by the
2011 trial of Casey Anthony, who was convicted of lying to police
regarding the disappearance of her daughter.
Senate Bill 1721 would create a felony for failing to report a child’s
disappearance to law enforcement.
“The Casey Anthony case created a nationwide groundswell of
support for stronger penalties for lying to police about missing
children,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma. “People all over
the country knew that child deserved better, and that the punishment
didn’t fit the crime. My hope is that we can prevent similar
injustices from occurring in Oklahoma.”
Shortey said the state currently has few statutes relating to failure
to report a missing child.
“The intent of the measure is to close a loophole that may
allow a parent or guardian to cover up a crime,” Shortey said.
“If parents have harmed their child in some way, the District
Attorney would have a way to go after them under this bill. Right
now, we don’t have that.”
Rep. Joe Dorman, co-author of the measure, said the bill would implement
an important safeguard for children.
“Given the outcry from the public this summer, there is obviously
a need to make sure we address this issue,” said Dorman, D-Rush
Springs. “This legislation is a responsible solution to make
sure the safety of our children is of the utmost importance not
only to our families but to law enforcement as well.”
Senate Bill 1721 now advances to the full Senate for consideration.
For more information contact:
Sen. Shortey: (405) 521-5557