Little Rock [Oklahoma] - A legislative committee is expected to debate a bill next week that would remove the statute of limitations on rape and first-degree sexual assault.
This change is needed and long overdue.
DNA evidence is one reason for this change. Because of backlog issues related to processing forensic evidence, the longer statute of limitations when there is DNA evidence still can allow rapists who can be identified through DNA to escape justice after the statute of limitations for rape cases without DNA evidence.
For an example of how rapists who have been IDed via DNA have escaped justice under complex statute of limitations, read my post about the LA rape kit backlog.
Another reason to eliminate the statute of limitations is that many serial rapists will be treated like a serial rapist only if there is no statute of limitations for rape. This can and does impact sentencing and the decisions made by parole boards.
The responsibility for proving guilt falls on the prosecution so arguments that innocent defendants will be victimized by eliminating the statute of limitations is false.
Despite this indisputable fact, there are men's rights advocates who oppose this change because as Glenn Sacks wrote in Men's News Daily, "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." [correction this quote was written by Pierce Harlan, Esq. in Glenn Sacks' MND blog which indicates that Sacks approves of this statement]
Notice the prioritization. Catching rapists is laudable, protecting all men accused of rape who haven't been convicted before the current statute of limitations expire, is imperative.
People like Glenn Sacks would be screaming if those he opposes on this issue mirrored his own views by writing, "While the goal of protecting innocent men accused of rape is laudable, this is yet another law that does not take into account the unjust effect on innocent rape victims." He would acknowledge what the use of "laudable" really means.
Glenn Sacks and his ilk put the desires of men who fear being accused (wrongfully of course) above the rights of those who were raped. They support guaranteed injustice in the name of protecting men from possible injustice.
If you live in Oklahoma please contact your state legislators to voice your support for this bill. Without feedback from voters many legislators will assume that nobody cares about this issue.
There are 2 other bills under consideration in Oklahoma related to victim rights.
SB 894 will allow a rape victim to have immediate access to medical care without pursuing legal charges against her attacker. At this time, a nurse or other medical professional is required to contact local law enforcement at the time a victim seeks medical attention. [...]
[Senate President Pro Tem Glenn] Coffee will also offer SB 932, allowing those who have sought protection from an emergency Victim’s Protective Order to obtain an emergency concealed carry license for their protection.
Both of these bills are worthy of support. The concealed carry bill will help victims who don't choose to carry a gun since the possibility that they have a gun may serve as a deterrent for some violent people.