Newest Members
RodrigoBR, MJ545, Marant, BeingFound, journey4two
12332 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
blueelectron9 (48), Grunty1967b (2014), highflight (42), jocks44 (54), kitm1 (47), Porrick (44)
Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 23 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12332 Members
74 Forums
63413 Topics
443357 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#85311 - 06/26/03 04:30 PM It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
From NY Times, today. This article is online at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/26/politics/26CND-MOLE.html


Erasing Limits on Prosecuting Child Molesters Is Ruled Illegal
By DAVID STOUT

WASHINGTON, June 26 — The Supreme Court dealt a serious defeat today to prosecutors who pursue suspects accused of molesting children, ruling 5 to 4 that the government cannot erase statutes of limitations retroactively.

The decision struck down a California law that allowed for prosecutions of people accused of committing sex crimes years before. The state enacted the law several years ago to make it possible to prosecute people accused of committing such crimes against children years, even decades, earlier.
Advertisement

But the court said today that the United States Constitution bars states from reviving legal deadlines that have already expired. Those deadlines, or statutes of limitations, vary by crime and from state to state. The most serious crimes have the longest statutes of limitations, and murder has none.

"We believe that this retroactive application of a later-enacted law is unfair," Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote for the majority in the case of Marion Stogner, who was charged in 1998 with having molested his children almost a half-century before. Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with him.

The case has been closely watched because of its implications in prosecuting priests accused of child-molesting years in the past. But it will have repercussions in prosecuting many other kinds of crimes, and it may affect laws across the country.

Until the mid-1990's, sex crimes were like most other criminal offenses under California law and could not be prosecuted after three years had elapsed.

But concerned that the inability of young victims of sex crimes to come forward promptly was permitting their tormentors to escape prosecution, the California Legislature extended the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children.

Under the law voided by the justices today, a prosecution could be brought at any time, as long as less than a year had passed since an adult gave evidence to the authorities of having been the victim of a serious sexual offense before the age of 18.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy dissented, declaring that California ought to be able to punish serious sex offenses against children. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

Mr. Stogner's two adult daughters told the police that he had molested them from 1955 to 1973. They made the accusations to police officers who were investigating accusations of child abuse elsewhere in the extended family.

The California Supreme Court upheld the state law in 1999. Mr. Stogner's lawyers attacked his prosecution on Constitutional grounds, and he had not gone to trial. The high court's ruling today may have made it impossible for prosecutors to try him.

The Constitution bars Congress and the states from enacting laws that make an act criminal in retrospect, or ex post facto. A 1798 ruling by the Supreme Court interpreted that prohibition in a way still regarded as definitive.

The court declared in that 1978 ruling, Calder v. Bull, that legislators could not criminalize an act that was not a crime when it was committed; could not "aggravate" a crime, or make it more serious than it was when committed; could not make the punishment greater than it was when the crime was committed, and could not alter the legal rules of evidence to make it easier for the government to obtain a conviction.

But how does reviving an expired statute of limitations fit into that framework, if it does? That is a question the high court was wrestling with since arguments were heard in the Stogner case on March 31.

Justice Ginsburg was clearly uneasy over the retroactivity, observing during the arguments that "it would also apply to pickpocketing."

Supporters of the California law have maintained that crimes against children are in a special category, and that the state was recognizing its "compelling interest" in protecting them, as several child-protection groups wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the state.

A longer statute of limitations is entirely appropriate for crimes in which the victims often wait years to tell of the wrongs committed against them, the brief said, asserting that the law "prevents offenders from escaping prosecution based solely on the fact that their victims may be shamed, intimidated or otherwise prevented from reporting abuse until well into adulthood."

On the other hand, criminal defense lawyers have argued that if laws like California's are allowed to stand, they could cause a profound loss of faith in the criminal justice system.

"Although understanding whether one has committed offenses such as child molestation or robbery is usually (but not always) fairly clear cut, people are often quite uncertain whether they have committed other crimes," the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice asserted in a friend-of-the-court brief.

"Given the morass of environmental and tax laws, for instance, many business people depend on limitations periods for peace of mind regarding past conduct and in planning for the future."

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

Top
#85312 - 06/26/03 09:45 PM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Wow another mighty blow stricken on behalf of justice for the victim & the survivor! :rolleyes:

Still trying to figure out exactly how striking down these damned "Statutes of Limitations on justice" and making them retroactive is in any way unconstitutional.

I wonder if those 5 esteemed & obviously not been in the real world in a long time Supreme Court Justices have noticed that sexual abuse is also unconstitutional?!

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#85313 - 06/26/03 10:01 PM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
O.K., it can't be applied to past crimes--how about getting the legislators to pass a law that states that effective immediately, the statute of limitations on any and all forms of child abuse will be 50 years. or 70??

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

Top
#85314 - 06/27/03 08:41 AM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Victor,

I think that we have to play by the same rule book as everyone else. IMHO, the Constitution doesn't try to guarantee us justice. After all, the original version allowed slavery. But it does try to set out one set of rules for how we will evolve the government as we seek to make a more just state. In that light, I can understand the decision, and in fact, I can agree with it.

But that doesn't mean that we have to leave things the way they are. Some crimes have no statute of limitations. Like murder. And I believe that we should work to eliminate the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse, if not for all sexual abuse. We are sexual creatures, each in our own way, and such abuse strikes deep in the core of our beings. Physically, most victims remain "alive," but everyone here is well aware of what kind of "life" that is.

When we make the public aware, just as they have learned to recognize slavery for the inherent evil that it is, they will be with us. Then they will support the level of education required to make it much, much more difficult for a child to feel so isolated. And in the long run, I think that should be our goal.

Man, I'm running off at the mouth again. Let me go sniff out some coffee.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

Top
#85315 - 06/27/03 09:21 AM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
lauraanimal Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/03
Posts: 58
Loc: montana
i have to say this realy ticks me off!!!!

our family has had to deal with this statue of limitations before, ,and it is a load of crap.

a while back our daughter was molested, luckly sence i was i had tought her ways toget away and that if anything was everto happen to her it was ok to cometell us. well she did as soon as she got away from him. we called the police and he was arrested.
come tofind out this was not his 1st offence. he had beento prison before for sexualy abusing his own children and grand children. unfortionately because it had been over 10 years sence he had last been caught they tried him as a 1st time offender. what a load of crap. he gota total of 3 whole years. my daughter was also ableto tell the police of other children whom he had molested. for some it had been going on for years. what totaly baffeled me was the fact the children wanted to talk to the police, the parents refused to let them do so. there for he got away with awhole lot more than just a measley 3 yrs. now if you take off all the things they give them credit for , be barely served over a year and a half.


if they would extend the time liek they said above to 50-60-70 yrs. he would have been tried as a repeat offender as well.

dont you just love how the "laws" protect the innocent......not!!!!


laura

_________________________
always be true to your self and your heart.
dont forget to love yourself 1st, then the restwill fall into place.

Top
#85316 - 06/27/03 10:56 AM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Joe,

You make some good points.

Still I'm not so sure where they get
"unconstitutional" from. IMHO if the Constitution had been read & applied as it was worded from the start, slavery would have been known to be wrong & unconstitutional from the start. They operated on the assumption that the slaves weren't fully human so the Constitution didn't apply to them. Somehow they seem to be doing the same thing with victims of SA, especially males.

No, I can't agree with their decision. Like they asked my opinion. That's the problem they're not asking our opinions. Well by golly they're gonna get mine anyway! :p

Well Joe you're right. Our goal has to be to speak out & educate the public, and our esteemed Supreme Court justices.

Thanks for the good food for thot. Here's some coffee to go with it! http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung/ernaehrung/food-smiley-010.gif

Be careful it's hot! \:D

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

Top
#85317 - 06/28/03 02:47 AM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
Dave214 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/26/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Grants Pass OR
Does this also mean that perps currently serving time that were convicted by victims testamony 20 years later will be released from prison because of this ruling.


Top
#85318 - 06/28/03 03:41 AM Re: It's time to eliminate statute of limitation on SA
brian-z Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/02
Posts: 770
Loc: Western USA

Top


Moderator:  Chase Eric, ModTeam 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.