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Caylee's Law?

Let's agree that the criminal jury verdict over the death of Caylee Anthony would be a poster-child demonstration of Dave Barry's joke that "the Sixth Amendment states that if you are accused of a crime, you have the right to a trial before a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty."

That doesn't excuse the proposed populist movement for Caylee's Law, a likely unconstitutional overfederalization of crime that as Josh Blackman points out would make it a felony (felony!) to wait 61 minutes to report a child's death or more than 24 hours to report a child missing (which would have precluded my weekend trips to debate tournaments). A press release from the petition organizers claims that legislators in three states have pledged to introduce a Caylee's Law bill, thus demonstrating Frank's Law that most legislation named after a child is likely to be poor public policy enacted by legislators who confuse voting against bad legislation with voting against the innocent person the bill is named after.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.