Senator Taylor Proposes "Caylee's Law" in Alabama

The Office of
State Senator Bryan Taylor
30th District
For Immediate Release
September 26, 2011
Clay Loftin, 334-595-2542

PRATTVILLE, Ala. – State Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, unveiled legislation Monday that would make it a felony for a parent or legal guardian to neglect to promptly notify authorities that their child is missing or dead.

The bill is an Alabama version of “Caylee’s Law,” introduced in Florida and other states after single mother Casey Anthony was acquitted of murdering her daughter, Caylee, even though Anthony failed to report her daughter missing for 31 days while carrying on a raucous, partying lifestyle.

Taylor described Anthony’s behavior after her daughter went missing as “criminal,” and said she deserved more prison time for her behavior whether the jury believed she was ultimately responsible for Caylee’s death or not.

Taylor said he had the legislation drafted after receiving thousands of letters and e-mails from constituents who shared his shock and disbelief that Anthony walked away scot-free.

“This isn’t about Casey Anthony anymore,” Taylor said. “It’s about making sure the law protects innocent children in Alabama and holds the adults charged with their care accountable for despicable, criminal conduct.”

“The Casey Anthony trial exposed a weakness in the law. We’re going to close it.” Taylor added.

Taylor’s bill would make it a Class C felony, which carries a one-to-10-year sentence, for a parent or guardian to neglect to report a child 12 years old or younger as missing to law enforcement within 24 hours. It would be considered a Class B felony, which carries a 2-to-20-year sentence, if the child also suffers great bodily harm, is permanently disabled, or is disfigured while missing.

Taylor’s bill also makes it a felony to fail to report the death of a child and to report false information to law enforcement authorities in connection with a missing-child investigation.

“My wife Jessica and I chose Prattville as the place we wanted to raise our family. Like our neighbors, we cannot imagine going even one minute without knowing where our child is. Anything we can do to strengthen the law to protect children and families in Alabama we are going to do.”

The Alabama State Senate meets for 30 legislative days that are spread out over 120 consecutive calendar days in the spring each year. Senators are allowed to pre-file bills during the interim that will be assigned to committee during the next Regular Legislative Session. Taylor said "Caylee's Law" will be pre-filed later this week after other senators have an opportunity to sign on as co-sponsors.

Sen. Taylor is a conservative Republican and is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of criminal justice issues. He is also chairperson of the Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics and Elections Committee.


(From left to right:) Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger, Sheriff Herbie Johnson, Senator Bryan Taylor,
District Attorney Randall Houston, Judge Joy Booth, Mayor Bill Gillespie, Chief Tim Huggins.

{flv width="640" height="480"}SenTaylorCayleesLaw{/flv}