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Legislators Will Consider Caylee Anthony Child Protection Law

September 29, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In the wake of the high-profile Casey Anthony case, several state lawmakers already have filed legislation that would put safeguards in place to protect Florida's children.

Many of the bills came after the trial, in which a jury on July 5 cleared Anthony of charges that she killed her daughter Caylee, 2. The case led to the creation of the Senate Committee on Protecting Florida's Children, under the leadership of Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart. The committee's job, Negron says, is to make recommendations to the Florida Senate.

"This committee is not about second-guessing a verdict in a particular case. It's about continuing our goal. It should be ongoing to do the best we can to protect them. It may be that the laws that we have are adequate, or it may be that we need additional laws."

It's best, Negron says, if lawmakers don't get too emotional about the legislation because it could lead to unintended consequences. However, he says there are clear-cut examples of neglect of a child that might require new legislation.

Negron admits some child-neglect claims can be subjective, but he says some cases are blatant.

"I think when your child is missing for days and weeks, it's unforgivable for a parent not to report it. So, we're going to look at it and see if we need to do anything."

Besides the Caylee Anthony tragedy, lawmakers also have been talking about the abuse case of Nubia and Victor Barahona, in which a 10-year-old girl was murdered, and her brother barely survived.

Les Coleman, Public News Service - FL