Target: Colorado House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Daniel Kagan
Goal: Promote justice for victims of sexual assault by eliminating the statute of limitations for such crimes.
The current statute of limitations on sexual assault accusations could be removed if a bill proposed by the Colorado State legislature is passed. Current law requires victims to come forward within 10 years of the occurrence of the offense. If victims don’t come forward within this time frame, they cannot seek prosecution against their abusers, no matter what new evidence or proof may have been found. This statute of limitations is outdated and limiting as it prohibits victims of sexual assault from coming forward and seeking justice in a time when there are improved DNA analysis procedures and techniques.
Sexual assault is a violent crime that causes long-lasting physical, emotional, and psychological damage for many of its victims. It is unfair and inhumane to put a time limit on how long a person can be held responsible for a crime that causes this sort of pain and struggle for its victims. Not only is it immoral to prohibit sexual assault victims from seeking justice after a certain amount of time has passed, it simply doesn’t make sense in this day and age when we have the ability to use DNA as conclusive evidence in these cases.
There are many examples like the 1977 rape and murder case of Mary Pierce, whose murderer wasn’t found until 2009 when his DNA was linked to the old case. If Mary Pierce had not been murdered (a crime that doesn’t have a statute of limitations) after she was raped, she would have had no recourse for justice when the new evidence came to light in 2009, and her rapist would have escaped prosecution. Cases such as this are proof that this statute of limitations is unjust.
As of now, 34 states in the U.S. have a statute of limitations on sexual assault accusations. This proposed bill in Colorado is an important attempt to get rid of an antiquated law that prevents victims of violent crime from seeking justice. Please sign the petition to show your support for the end of sexual assault statute of limitation laws in Colorado, which will hopefully encourage other states to follow suit.
Dear Chairman Kagan,
I am writing to encourage you and your committee to support the passage of a proposed bill to end the statute of limitations on sexual assault cases in Colorado. As of now, victims of these violent crimes are limited to a 10-year time period in which to seek justice against their abusers, regardless of whether new physical evidence or proof is discovered outside of this period. This statute of limitations is outdated and prohibitive, preventing many victims of these violent crimes from seeking the justice they have a right to.
Sexual assault is a violent crime that causes a wide array of physical, emotional, and psychological problems for its victims, and it is ridiculous that perpetrators are protected from being held accountable for their crimes simply because a certain amount of time has passed. A removal of the statute of limitations would allow for many victims to no longer be silenced and marginalized by our judicial system.
Ultimately, the current 10-year statute of limitations in Colorado for sexual assault cases is ineffectual; it no longer prevents possible offenders from being wrongfully accused, but instead prevents cases that could deliver justice to victims from ever being brought to court. Please show your support for victims of sexual assault and approve the bill that will remove this archaic statute of limitations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Women’s eNews