Wednesday, July 13, 2011

People are stupid

In the wake of the Casey Anthony trial, millions of people who decided that she was guilty are incensed enough at the audacity of the jury in actually considering the evidence and acquitting her, that they are now attempting to craft a law that will ensure that she will not get away with this. Well, except that her trial is over, and this law would not apply to her case. Casey Anthony is the one person in this country that would not be affected by this law.

The law, dubbed "Caylee's Law by its supporters, would make it a felony for a mother to fail to report the death of a child within an hour, or fail to report a child missing within 24 hours of the child's disappearance. People who advocate for such a law are either ignorant of the Fifth Amendment's self incrimination clause, or they are deliberately ignoring it. A parent forced to report child's death or disappearance violates the parent's Fifth amendment protection against self incrimination, in that if the parent was responsible for that death or disappearance, they are effectively testifying against him/herself by providing the time of death.One might as well pass a law requiring anyone who commits murder to confess to the crime.

"We cannot require perpetrators to turn themselves in, or incriminate themselves," said Susan Rozelle, who teaches criminal law at Stetson University's College of Law. "And that's what this reporting standard could do."
Richard Lubin, a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer, agreed the proposal creates constitutional issues.

The law totally ignores common sense. If a parent is willing to kill a child and then lie to investigators to conceal the crime, they are willing to break this new law and fail to report the crime. What this means is that the law is not being crafted, nor is it intended, to do anything except punish the behavior of the one person to whom it does not apply.

Now to validity of “Caylee’s law.”  Ask yourself these questions if “Caylee’s Law” was on the books during this case:
  1. Would it have saved Caylee’s life?   No.
  2. Would it have prevented the prosecution from overcharging and bungling the case?  No.
  3. Would it add another law that more than likely will be used and abused beyond its intended scope?  Yes.
There is a difference between justice and vengeance.  Like it or not, Caylee did get justice.  Her case was heard and decided by a jury.
But what “Caylee’s law” is all about is vengeance.  We hate that Casey Anthony got off on the murder charges even though we "know" that she was involved in Caylee's death in some way.

But our Constitution isn’t about vengeance.  It’s about justice.  And justice means that a few guilty people must go free in order to prevent an innocent person from going to jail.

What this public furor will do is create a law that will hurt us all. Read:

But in the wake of the Anthony case, Lubin said lawmakers could consider toughening penalties for lying to law enforcement -- the misdemeanors Casey Anthony was found guilty of.
"In the federal system, if you lie to law enforcement, that's a felony," Lubin said. "Casey Anthony wouldn't be getting out of jail this month, if lying was a felony."
EDITED: The bill here in Florida makes it a second degree felony to lie to a cop that is investigating any possible felony involving your child punishable by 15 years in prison.

(2) A caregiver, as defined in s. 827.01, who knowingly and willfully gives false information to a law enforcement officer who is conducting a missing person investigation or a felony criminal investigation involving a minor child in his or her care with the intent to mislead the officer or impede the investigation commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

If a cop is investigating whether or not your child accessed your neighbor's WiFi (that is a felony in Florida) and tell any lie to the cops, 15 years in the slammer. Do you think the cops will NEVER stretch such a law for use in a way that was not intended?

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