A measure inspired by the death of Caylee Anthony was approved unanimously Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee. The bill (HB 37) would make it a third-degree felony for parents or guardians to lie to law enforcement officials when a child under 16 is missing, dies or is seriously injured. Caylee Anthony’s mother Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder last year. But she was convicted on four misdemeanor counts of misleading law enforcement officers after her daughter’s 2008 disappearance. The bill, had it been in place, could have caused Anthony to be sentenced to as long as 20 years in prison. “There will be never justice for Caylee,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami. “But it will be a much needed adjustment to our laws.” The measure now goes to the House floor.
Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.