In the aftermath of the verdict in Florida, some legislators have decided that the remedy for those who commit crimes is to pass yet another law. Since Casey Anthony did not report her daughter missing for over a month, they want to pass a law that makes it a felony if you fail to report a child missing after a certain period of time.
I understand the outrage at the jury's result. I also understand the human need for "someone" to pay. But, let's face it, there are times when no one pays at all. It is a sad fact of humanity. And in those instances, we should not automatically assume the only fix is to broaden the reach of the government so more people are caught up in the net.
Don't get me wrong. I understand why people think this might be a good idea. Although I have not seen the text of the law, what I understand of it seems benign. However, do we really believe this law would have changed anything other than given her an additional felony conviction? Would it have saved the child? No. Would it have caused one single moment of pause in the mother's mind? No. So, in effect, we are passing a law that many know will have no deterrent effect, but we do it just because we can pile on after a verdict we don't like. It is simply an emotional response to a current event. That is not how law should be made.
Instead of automatically giving the government more power to control us, how about forcing the prosecutor to put on a better case. The only acceptable result after this case is for the prosecution team (attorneys, police, investigators, etc...) to return to their offices and figure out how to be so good at what they do that this does not happen again.
That, in turn, will create a better society for all. That's something one more law will never do.
H/T To Kevin Smith at Ace Law Letter, who made me think. On a Friday, no less.