Representative Tony Shipley Files Caylee Anthony Act
Representative Tony Shipley Files Caylee Anthony Act11-Jul-2011
(July 11, 2011, NASHVILLE) – Following the verdict of last week’s Casey Anthony trial in Florida, a number of concerned Tennesseans have contacted Members of the Tennessee General Assembly about strengthening State law to make it a felony for a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of a child within 24 hours. Current law has no penalty associated with a failure to report a missing child.
“Last week’s verdict shows our law enforcement officials need additional tools to ensure justice is attained in heartbreaking situations like what happened with Caylee Anthony,” stated Representative Tony Shipley (R—Kingsport), who today filed a bill, House Bill 2162, making it a class E felony to not report a missing child. “By making this simple tweak to the law, we can encourage reports of missing children in Tennessee to be filed timely and quickly. In the process, we may end up saving a life and that makes this effort more than worthwhile.”
Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Eric Watson (R—Cleveland), added, “I am proud of the work of Representative Shipley and others who want to act quickly with this legislation upon our return to Nashville. I can make this promise: This bill will be our first priority when my Committee convenes in January.”
After working over the last week, Rep. Shipley has already gathered a half dozen signatures as original co-sponsors for the bill.
The verdict in the Casey Anthony case has created an online movement in Tennessee. Representatives have reported receiving dozens of email messages from constituents asking for action to be taken. Ms. Anthony failed to report her daughter missing to local authorities for a month and Florida law does not provide any penalties for this inaction.
The full text of HB 2162 can be accessed here: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/107/Bill/HB2162.pdf