Statutes Of Limitations – Research Paper Example

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS Many crimes have a prescribed period in which they can be prosecuted. For example in some places the statute of limitations onassault might be six years. That means if you beat someone up on January 1, 2010, the government must bring charges against you before January 1, 2016. After that period, you can no longer be prosecuted for the crime. The idea behind is not to waste the courts time with crimes from long ago. Also many of these crimes may be hard to prosecute since witnesses have died and evidence may be gone. If you stole your neighbours newspaper 25 years ago, it is a waste of time for the court to get involved in that problem now: they will have bigger fish to fry. This might seem unfair to some people but there is often a fair amount of wiggle room. It is possible to argue that the limitation period should only start the day you realize that you have suffered harm. That helps alleviate the strictness of the law.
Some crimes however are so serious there is no limitation period. Homicide is one. Society has decided that no matter when the crime happened, it should be punished. This is a good idea. We want our government to take these kinds of crimes very seriously. It is outrageous to think that a murderer could outrun the clock. That is part of the reason why the system will enforce the law over decades if necessary to bring a criminal to justice.