The Most Important Sentence You Will Read about the Casey Anthony Trial

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Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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18 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    “As a parent, I can imagine lots of reasons not to report the death of a child within an hour. Including sobbing uncontrollably.”

    Yeah, no shit, man. When I first read about that I thought these people have no idea how trauma works.Report

  2. Avatar patrick says:

    I only saw the “missing within 24” part when it flew by on Facebook.

    Reporting death within an hour? That’s ridiculous.Report

    • Avatar Scott says:

      Patrick:

      Why is that ridiculous? If my child had an accident in the pool or otherwise I would on the phone to 911 asap.Report

      • Avatar patrick says:

        You’re a different dude than me if you already know how you’ll respond to the death of your child.

        Me, I know how I respond to bloody head injuries. I’m within a reasonable delta of saying I know how I’ll respond in the event of another type of major injury.

        I know bufkus about what it would do to me to find my child dead. I know people who have found non-dependents dead and it put them into shock.

        I think it’s reasonable to assume that everyone is going to act differently when finding their child dead.

        Also: if you want to tack a rider on accessory before the fact to manslaughter that says that anyone who doesn’t report a missing child within 24 hours can be charged should that child be deceased. I don’t know why that needs to be spelled out, but I’d be okay with it.

        Report death within an hour seems crazy. To me. You can have your own opinion, I’m okay with that too.Report

  3. Avatar Anderson says:

    I read this Balko essay as well and thought it was spot on. I’m not particularly libertarian, but I think this section gets to the crux of it:
    “I suspect this is why so many people have signed Crowder’s petition. This is about vengeance. They’re angry at this verdict.

    That anger is understandable. But anger is a bad reason to make public policy. New laws, especially laws with serious criminal sanctions, demand careful consideration: Will the law actually address the problem it is intended to address? Is it enforceable? What are some possible unintended consequences of this law? Could it be abused by police and prosecutors?”

    These are definitely prudent and wise questions for policy makers and voting citizens to ask. My mind immediately goes to Prop 184 in California (1994, “three strikes law”), the crack/cocaine sentencing disparity, mandatory minimum sentencing, etc, amongst other drug war policies.Report

  4. Avatar BSK says:

    “As a parent, I can imagine lots of reasons not to report the death of a child within an hour. Including sobbing uncontrollably.”

    Yea, gobs and gobs of sobs of GUILTY TEARS! Baby killer.

    In all honesty, I would raise an eyebrow if a parent knew about his/her child’s death or disappearance and didn’t report it in a timely manner (I wouldn’t set 1 hour as the limit of timeliness), but I don’t think it should be criminal. And I don’t think it should serve as evidence of their complicity in the murder/disappearance.Report

  5. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Caylee’s law is one of the stupidest things I’ve read about in a long time. “Well, my child has been dead for fifty-five minutes. I better hurry up and report it so I don’t get charged with a crime.” Gliberals! People grieve in different ways. Not everyone expresses grief via prompt notification of the overlords.

    Reading Balko’s piece, I kept looking for the bridge to September 11 and the USAPATRIOT Act, but it never came.Report

    • Avatar Scott says:

      Chris:

      So how long is too long not to report it, 30, 60 or 90 days? Why bother to every report it at all? What is wrong with some bright line? Please, this isn’t about reporting to the “overlords” this is about a suspicious death that a mother doesn’t report and lies about.Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr says:

        I haven’t been following the case, but I don’t think we do need a bright line.Report

        • Avatar Scott says:

          Chris:

          So you should report a death whenever you get around to it or even not at all?Report

          • The crime should be in the murder or in the abuse that led to the death and not in the amount of time it takes to report the death. If someone did wait, say, 90 days, or even 1 day, or perhaps even 8 hours, that would probably be evidence that some foul play was going on. But the crime is the foul play, not the refusal to notify.

            If somebody murders a child and they are soulless enough to think only of their own fate afterward, I imagine that they’d be much more concerned about not getting caught and punished for murder than about not getting caught and punished for not reporting the death.Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

            Save your dudgeon, Scott. As Radley notes in the linked article, forensic examiners can’t even pinpoint the time of death within an hour. Scientifically, it’s just not determinable.

            So with science off the table, how are prosecutors going to to enforce the law? With gut feelings, impulses, and outright prejudice. They’re the only things they’ll have left.Report

  6. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    The questions of when citizens should report death and whether or not to legally mandate timely report of death are two different things.Report