– Legislation which would increase the penalties for the crime of concealing the death of a child, sponsored by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton), was approved by the House Judiciary Committee today and sent to the floor of the House of Representatives for further consideration.
House Bill 424
would upgrade the offense of concealing the death of a child from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony and increase the maximum penalties to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
The measure also would clarify that those who can be charged with this offense are a parent, an individual living in the same household as the child, or an individual responsible for the child’s welfare. A “parent” is defined as a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, guardian or paramour of the child’s parent.
House Bill 424 is also known as “Caylee’s Law” because its impetus is the highly publicized child death case of Caylee Anthony several years ago in Florida.
“During the trial, the evidence disclosed that the child’s mother, Casey Anthony, waited almost a month before reporting that little Caylee was missing,” said Simmons. “I heard from hundreds of constituents who joined the national public outcry over Anthony’s concealment of her daughter’s death, even if it was accidental as she claimed. It is time to strengthen Pennsylvania law to discourage that kind of tragic behavior involving a young child from taking place here.”
Simmons introduced similar legislation during the last two sessions, which passed in the House each time but failed to come up for a vote in the Senate.
For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, visit www.RepSimmons.com
Representative Justin Simmons
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs