2 July 2003 |
Los Angeles Times
Statute of Limitations on Sexual Molestation
re: "High Court Term Ends",
L.A. Times, June 27, 2003
and "Burden of Proof Now Falls on Victims in
Sex Abuse Civil Suits", L.A. Times, June 28, 2003
Many people are blaming the Supreme Court for striking down California's retroactive child molestation law, thereby freeing hundreds of accused abusers (June 27). If any group is to be blamed it is the Legislature, for rubber-stamping the wishes of law enforcement and the child-abuse establishment (social workers, lawyers and others who make their living with victims and perpetrators) when, in 1994, it removed the statute of limitations on molestation prosecutions.
Or perhaps we should blame the framers of the Constitution itself for including that pesky ex post facto clause merely to end centuries of legal manipulation of the weak by the powerful.
And the related story whines that one effect of the Supreme Court's decision is that the "Burden of Proof Now Falls on Victims in Sex Abuse Civil Suits" (June 28). That's the way it has always been, and must be. Child abuse is a serious crime and can be dealt with effectively without dismantling our legal traditions.