DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Casey Anthony is appealing four convictions for lying to police in the case of her dead daughter.
Anthony's attorneys were in Daytona Beach on Tuesday, telling an appeal court their client is innocent because she lied to cops before she was read her Miranda rights. Those lies, however, have spawned new legislation, creating tougher penalties for people who knowingly mislead police.
One of the lies Anthony allegedly told police was that her babysitter kidnapped her daughter, Caylee. Although there was no babysitter, the name Anthony made up belongs to a woman who said is now suing Anthony for damages.
Anthony was released from jail in Oct. 2011, acquitted of murdering 2-year-old Caylee.
She was, however, convicted on four misdemeanor counts of lying to police. Anthony was sentenced to four years and released on time served.
Some parents said they were outraged, along with state lawmakers.
"I think it was terrible what she did," said one parent.
Lawmakers quickly drafted a bill stiffening penalties for lying to police.
In October, lying to police in the course of a missing child investigation became a felony, carrying a five-year prison sentence for each count. Had the law been in place during the Anthony trial, Casey could be in prison, serving a 20-year sentence.
The bill was originally called Caylee's Law, but legislators dropped the name to send the message that it would have a much broader impact. Since its passage, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has no record of anyone being charged under the new law.
Investigators said they hope no one ever will.
"If somebody has reported a child missing, it is a serious matter and we all look," said Carol Fredrick of FDLE. "We don't want people to cry wolf."
Only time will tell if the changes save lives, but what is known is it's already too late for Caylee.
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