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Casey Anthony verdict spurs talk of "Caylee's law"

Casey Anthony on Monday, July 4, 2011 AP Photo

(CBS/WKMG) ORLANDO, Fla. - After Casey Anthony was acquitted of first-degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee, an internet movement to enact "Caylee's Law" has gained traction in Florida.

Pictures: Casey and Caylee Anthony, Personal Photos

"Caylee's Law" would make it a felony for parents or caregivers to not report the death of a child to authorities - accidental or otherwise - within one hour. It also would make it a felony for guardians to not notify law enforcement of the disappearance of a child within 24 hours, reports CBS affiliate WKMG.

Michelle Crowder, of Oklahoma, started the online petition to create the law hours after the verdict was announced.

"When I saw that Casey Anthony had been found not guilty in the murder of little Caylee, and that she was only being convicted of lying to the police about her disappearance, I was sickened," Crowder said through a news release, the station reports. "I could not believe she was not being charged with child neglect or endangerment, or even obstruction of justice."

On Tuesday, Anthony was acquitted on first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter charges in the death of her daughter, Caylee. She was sentenced Thursday by Judge Belvin Perry to four years in prison for lying to police, but due to credit for time served and good behavior she will be released July 17.

Caylee Anthony was not reported missing until 30 days had passed.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Rep. Bill Hager, R-Boca Raton, announced that he is drafting legislation to create "Caylee's Law." 

"Placing a law on the books requiring parents and guardians to report missing children who are in significant danger in a timely manner will ensure that parents are held accountable for their actions. It will also assure that we put justice on the side of those among us who are most vulnerable. And finally, it will put an end to the kind of irresponsible and outrageous behavior we observed with Caylee's mother," Hager said in a statement. 

The earliest he might be able to introduce the bill is during the next legislative session, which starts in March.

Other states have followed suit. Maryland state Sen. Nancy Jacobs said she received nearly two dozen emails from constituents in the days following the verdict. She said they asked that she review Maryland law and find a way to criminalize the act of not reporting the death of one's child.

Oklahoma state Rep. Paul Wesselhoft wants to propose the law as well. Lawmakers said the Oklahoma bill won't be discussed until next session, which will be in January.

Complete coverage of Casey Anthony on Crimesider