Sunday, January 25, 2009

Arknsas considering scrapping the statute of limitations for rape -- without any consideration of innocent men and boys

Arkansas is considering eliminating the statute of limitations for rape, reports the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (“Limits on rape charges targeted,” Jan. 18, 2009.) This proposed change in the law is unnecessary and would expose countless innocent men to greater risk of being falsely accused, and even wrongly convicted, of rape. While the goal of convicting more actual rapists is laudable, this is yet another proposed change in the law of rape that does not take into account the unjust effect on innocent men and boys.

Currently under Arkansas law, rape charges must be prosecuted within six years, or if the charge is based on DNA evidence, 15 years. (See state-by-state chart specifying the statutes of limitations for rape.) The proposed change in Arkansas law is consistent with a disturbing trend in the United States. According to the National Conference for State Legislatures: “Most states have laws limiting the time during which crimes other than murder may be prosecuted. In recent years, many states have adopted varying extensions to their criminal statutes of limitations for cases of sexual assault.” Read the rest of our article, "Another Way to Empower Women," posted at Glenn Sacks' blog