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Old Rapes, New Cathedrals, and You

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 28, 2003

From Justice Kennedy's dissent on Stogner v. California (the Statute of Limitations case):

The California statute does not fit any of the remaining Calder categories: It does not criminalize conduct which was innocent when done; it allows the prosecutor to seek the same punishment as the law authorized at the time the offense was committed and no more; and it does not alter the government's burden to establish the elements of the crime. Any concern about stale evidence can be addressed by the judge and the jury, and by the requirement of proof beyond reasonable doubt. Section 803(g), moreover, contains an additional safeguard: It conditions prosecution on a presentation of independent evidence that corroborates the victim's allegations by clear and convincing evidence. These protections, as well as the general protection against oppressive prosecutions offered by the Due Process Clause, should assuage the majority's fear that the statute will have California overrun by vindictive prosecutions resting on unreliable recovered memories.

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