< HOME  Saturday, July 01, 2006

NYC detectives get away w/ murder using legal loophole

In what is perhaps one of the most egregious examples of how miserably our legal system fails to uphold justice, a NY federal district court reversed the convictions of two NYC detectives for conspiring to - and murdering eight people because the statute of limitations had run out.

For those unfamiliar with the famous "procedural" technicality that routinely lets criminals off the hook, a statute of limitations bars the prosecution of civil or criminal cases against a defendant once a certain period of time has lapsed from the date the charged incident occurred - or in some civil cases the date it is discovered.

Though it may have some merit in the civil context, in the criminal context, it shamelessly allows a criminal who is lucky enough to evade justice for the prescribed period of time, to permanently avoid accountability - it's as if it never happened.

The statutory time period varies with different crimes and different civil causes of action. The statute of limitations for criminal conspiracy charges is five years.
The judge wrote that even though there was little doubt that Eppolito and Caracappa had "kidnapped, murdered, and assisted kidnappers and murderers," he had no choice but to let them go because the five-year statute of limitations in conspiracy cases had run out.

No matter how pained he seemed in vacating the convictions, Weinstein took the government to task for pushing the boundaries of conspiracy law.
This is the worst kind of travesty - where the law is elevated above justice. It is a tell-tale sign of the decline of civilization.


At Saturday, July 01, 2006, Anonymous drac said...

Sorry about this one, but the laws were made for a reason even if they weren't good laws, they should be followed and changed through what is supposed to be our governments process. I find it rather hypocritical that you get pissed off when GWBush does this yet you are asking this guy to essentially "ignore" or bypass a law. This law is supposed to protect us as normal citizens by ensuring our government can't go after us 10 years from now for something we did today and would have no chance of defending against. Whether it works or not... thats another debate.

At Saturday, July 01, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

drac, thanks for the comment.

I didn't say that there was no rationale for the statute of limitations. It's just a poor rationale when it comes to violent crimes like murder - crimes against humanity, otherwise known as malum in se crimes, not malum prohibitum - like tax evasion.

Your concerns about not having a chance to defend against old crimes is misplaced. The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant is guilty of the crime charged - not the other way around.

If there is little or no proof after 5 years that a person committed a conspiracy to kill, then the prosecution will fail.

If, however, there is plenty of evidence that the defendants are guilty as charged, as is the case here, there is no justifiable reason on earth why these murderers should walk away scot free.

Also, I didn't mean to attack Weinstein personally for upholding the law. Rather, I meant to attack the legal system for requiring such an absurd and unjust result.

At Sunday, July 02, 2006, Blogger Citisucks said...

Great article. The pigs are always murdering people and getting away with it. About 2 months ago the police in the Denver metro area murdered 3 people in one weekend. If you want to get away with murder become a pig (or the preznut).


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