Bill Makes it a Crime to Fail to Report Death or Disappearance of a Child
The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that makes it a crime to fail to report the death or disappearance of a child within a certain time period.
South Dakota Attorney General Mary Jackley says Senate bill 43 is modeled after Caylee's Law, created after the Casey Anthony trial. The bill requires caretakers of children 12 and under to report a missing child to law enforcement within 48 hours, or face a class one misdemeanor and a year in jail. Caretakers also must report a death of a child within six hours of knowing a child has died, or face a class five felony and five years in prison.
"We felt the need for this statute number one to protect children, if you have a missing child we would hope that law enforcement should be notified," Jackley says. "If you have a death of a child or suspect the death of a child we would hope that law enforcement and medical facilities would be notified. And I think this is a reasonable response not only to what happened in the Caylee situation but what we've seen in South Dakota."
Opponents say the bill is too broad and fails to realize cultural and social differences in the state. It passed by a vote of six to one and moves to the Senate floor.
By Jenifer Jones
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