Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DNA Evidence No Help To Rape Victim Because of Statute Of Limitation Ruling

Arizona Star

In June 1994, as she lay pinned underneath her attacker, Lee made a vow she wouldn't let the man ruin her life. Nearly 13 years later, she's vowed not to let her attacker or the Arizona Court of Appeals ruin her life.

The man suspected of attacking and raping her was arrested last year, only to be set free as a result of a December Court of Appeals decision that the seven-year statute of limitations in rapes before 1997 starts when the crime occurs, not when an attacker is identified.

Pima County prosecutors are appealing to the Arizona Supreme Court, but it could be months before they learn if the justices will even review the case. If the Appeals Court decision is upheld, the charges against Olin Gene Taylor will have to be dismissed. If not, Lee, 69, is prepared to testify against the man she believes attacked her.

Because of the seriousness of this type of crime and the continued danger these type of rapists pose, the laws need to change so there either isn't a statute of limitations or the clock begins when the DNA match has been made.

Those who say the statute of limitations shouldn't be changed because of procedural issues which make it impossible for defendants to get a fair trial ignore the fact that much of the lost evidence or fuzzy memories tend to favor the defendant since the burden of proof is on the prosecution.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:02 AM   0 comments links to this post


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