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Old 14th August 2019, 08:05 AM   #1
plague311
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New York Child Victims Act

I didn't see anything related to this, but I'm not sure how I feel about the whole thing. On one hand, those people deserve to get justice because of the terrible thing(s) that have happened to them. On the other hand, I'm not a huge fan of creating a "shopping window" for lawsuits. Why not just change the laws of your state? Is that possible? I'm not sure.

Quote:
Child sex abuse lawsuits are expected to be filed against the Archdiocese of New York, Jehovah's Witnesses, Rockefeller University, the Boy Scouts, Jeffrey Epstein and others on Wednesday, the first day of a one-year window intended to give victims a chance at justice delayed.

...

The one-year reprieve for civil lawsuits applies to accusations of child sexual abuse, including those that had been previously dismissed for being filed too late or for those who failed to file a notice of claim in time.
It certainly names all of the culprits though. I would be concerned of false allegations being thrown out there by shady people in hopes of getting some cash.

ETA: I apologize for any confusion, this actually did change the existing law.
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Last edited by plague311; 14th August 2019 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 14th August 2019, 08:09 AM   #2
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I get that the statute of limitations is sometimes just not very useful for some crimes, but there is a reason it exists beyond just protecting the guilty. It is a recognition that the innocent will be harmed if claims are brought so late that they have no means of defending themselves. So, I would be less concerned about this sort of law if it somehow addressed that aspect. Maybe it does, but I have not seen any mention of that.
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Old 14th August 2019, 08:19 AM   #3
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Here is the thing, NY had one of the shortest child rape statute of limitations in the country and the catholic church successfully blocked this law for a decade or more by keeping it from coming to a vote.

Take the recent Pennsylvania grand jury, they only had three people indicted because only three victims were under 50. NY said once the victim was 25 they were free and clear.

I get it Epstein also should have been free and clear because those so called criminal victims are now over 25 so all is done with.
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Old 14th August 2019, 09:39 AM   #4
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Holy buckets:

Quote:
The documents, which have not been made public, contain the names of more than 7,800 scout leaders and volunteers who have been accused of child sexual abuse from 1944 through 2016, according to court documents.
I'm glad none of my kids were in the scouts. They appear to be a touch rapey.
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Old 14th August 2019, 09:56 AM   #5
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Why is it restricted to sexual abuse? Are children that have been victims of non-sexual physical, psychological and/or emotional abuse not somehow worthy enough?
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Old 14th August 2019, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Holy buckets:



I'm glad none of my kids were in the scouts. They appear to be a touch rapey.
It has been at least a decade since I looked into this, but at that time it appeared that the scouts made a slightly better set of decisions than the RCC.

IIRC, the BSA early on realized that they had no success is getting leaders prosecuted when they were accused of sexual misconduct. No one was willing to destroy a "good man's life" just because of some disgruntled kid. Also, it was very traumatizing for the kid. So, instead they created a black list, effectively. If a leader was credibly accused of misconduct they would be barred from any association with the BSA. Once they were out they were out.

This is better than the RCC who just moved them to another parish, but not as good as trying to warn the rest of society that there were dangerous people going largely unpunished.

They also implemented two deep leadership before a lot of other organizations. They actually tired very hard to protect the kids given that the court system wasn't really working with them. Also, an organization that works with kids attracts child molesters. Especially one that features overnight camping as a rather large component of its program.

At least, that is what I recall. There may be new documents that show otherwise. If so, that sucks. The scouts have gotten a lot of stuff wrong over the years, but they seem to be on the right track fairly often.
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Old 14th August 2019, 10:00 AM   #7
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Statutes of limitation always struck me as more of a practical convenience than a principle. With the passage of too much time the quality and quantity of evidence degrades. But as technology advances and better practices are developed that enable collection and preservation of evidence longer than was previously possible I see no reason not to lengthen the time limits or indeed abandon them. If we reach a point where mass surveillance permits perfect video of a misdeed eighty years prior why not prosecute?
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Old 14th August 2019, 01:33 PM   #8
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Heard of Ex-Post-Facto? Doesn't it apply to changing the statute of limitations after it has run out? Or even after the crime was committed?
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Old 14th August 2019, 01:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Heard of Ex-Post-Facto? Doesn't it apply to changing the statute of limitations after it has run out? Or even after the crime was committed?
I don't think it applies. The laws broken, ie the crimes themselves, didn't change. Merely the window in which enforcement finds it convenient to bother with does.
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Old 14th August 2019, 01:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Heard of Ex-Post-Facto? Doesn't it apply to changing the statute of limitations after it has run out? Or even after the crime was committed?
Quote:
A law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed, increases the penalties for an infraction after it has been committed, or changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier. The Constitution prohibits the making of ex post facto law.
The act was illegal when it was committed. Trafficking, rape, assault, all of those things have been illegal for a long time. They haven't increased the penalties at all, as far as we can tell. The rules of evidence are also exactly the same.

Tragic nailed it squarely on the head.
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Old 14th August 2019, 02:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Statutes of limitation always struck me as more of a practical convenience than a principle. With the passage of too much time the quality and quantity of evidence degrades. But as technology advances and better practices are developed that enable collection and preservation of evidence longer than was previously possible I see no reason not to lengthen the time limits or indeed abandon them. If we reach a point where mass surveillance permits perfect video of a misdeed eighty years prior why not prosecute?
I just wonder if the burden of proof shouldn't be just a bit higher if there has been a long time during which exculpatory evidence could have been lost. In other words, the scale should be tipped a bit in favor of the accused, but if the evidence is clear, then a conviction is possible.

So, in your hypothetical where there is video evidence of a murder that was not previously prosecuted, the tipping of the scale should not prevent conviction or civil damages.
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Old 14th August 2019, 02:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I just wonder if the burden of proof shouldn't be just a bit higher if there has been a long time during which exculpatory evidence could have been lost. In other words, the scale should be tipped a bit in favor of the accused, but if the evidence is clear, then a conviction is possible.

So, in your hypothetical where there is video evidence of a murder that was not previously prosecuted, the tipping of the scale should not prevent conviction or civil damages.
That's something I can't seem to find a solid answer on. The article seems to only mention lawsuits, it doesn't mention any form of criminal charges.

I know that civil proceedings don't require the same level as criminal charges, but in this case is that were you would want it? The "beyond a conceivable doubt" level?
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Old 14th August 2019, 02:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
That's something I can't seem to find a solid answer on. The article seems to only mention lawsuits, it doesn't mention any form of criminal charges.

I know that civil proceedings don't require the same level as criminal charges, but in this case is that were you would want it? The "beyond a conceivable doubt" level?
That makes sense, these are all going to be civil cases. So, they aren't opening the statute of limitations for criminal cases. For civil cases the burden of proof is typically a preponderance of the evidence.

Even so, I would think slightly higher bar should be recognized since this an extraordinary situation. At least a jury instruction recognizing the lack of evidence due to the passage of time and that the defendant can't be held responsible for that.
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Old 14th August 2019, 03:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
That's something I can't seem to find a solid answer on. The article seems to only mention lawsuits, it doesn't mention any form of criminal charges.

I know that civil proceedings don't require the same level as criminal charges, but in this case is that were you would want it? The "beyond a conceivable doubt" level?
Quick note: the phrase is "beyond a reasonable doubt" which is a significant difference to [any] conceivable doubt.
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Old 14th August 2019, 06:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I just wonder if the burden of proof shouldn't be just a bit higher if there has been a long time during which exculpatory evidence could have been lost. In other words, the scale should be tipped a bit in favor of the accused, but if the evidence is clear, then a conviction is possible.

So, in your hypothetical where there is video evidence of a murder that was not previously prosecuted, the tipping of the scale should not prevent conviction or civil damages.
A) there never is any evidence, only allegations. Do you think an altar boy has saved his semen stained jockies for 50 years?


B) Capital crimes have no statute of limitations.
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Old 14th August 2019, 08:00 PM   #16
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The passage of time doesn't necessarily work only for one side of the conflict. As the perpetrators age and become ill and approach death some of them become willing to confess. You don't need physical evidence if the accused pleads guilty and admits all.
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Old 14th August 2019, 08:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The passage of time doesn't necessarily work only for one side of the conflict. As the perpetrators age and become ill and approach death some of them become willing to confess. You don't need physical evidence if the accused pleads guilty and admits all.
Except that false confessions are a thing.
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Old 15th August 2019, 03:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I just wonder if the burden of proof shouldn't be just a bit higher if there has been a long time during which exculpatory evidence could have been lost. In other words, the scale should be tipped a bit in favor of the accused, but if the evidence is clear, then a conviction is possible.

So, in your hypothetical where there is video evidence of a murder that was not previously prosecuted, the tipping of the scale should not prevent conviction or civil damages.
Isn't that something for the courts to decide in each case? This isn't in any way unique to these cases so it isn't like the courts don't deal with these situations in all kinds of cases every day.
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Old 15th August 2019, 06:49 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Except that false confessions are a thing.
I believe false confessions are more common at the time of the original investigation, when a) crazy people are attracted by the news and b) cops are under pressure to deliver results. It strikes me as less likely for a confession decades afterwards to be false.
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Old 15th August 2019, 06:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I believe false confessions are more common at the time of the original investigation, when a) crazy people are attracted by the news and b) cops are under pressure to deliver results. It strikes me as less likely for a confession decades afterwards to be false.
I think it is complex. IIRC there are studies on this and often people can be led more easily into false confessions long after the event if the "right" methods are used by an interviewer. As time blurs their memory it allows false memories to be more easily implanted. And yes, sadly this applies to the accuser as well as to the possible perpetrator.
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Old 15th August 2019, 07:07 AM   #21
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I've never really bought the supposed core argument for statutes of limitation.

I agree that the passage of time can make a defense more difficult, but to exactly that extent and in exactly those ways, wouldn't it make it that much harder to establish that something happened "Beyond a reasonable doubt"?
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Old 16th August 2019, 12:09 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Statutes of limitation always struck me as more of a practical convenience than a principle. With the passage of too much time the quality and quantity of evidence degrades. But as technology advances and better practices are developed that enable collection and preservation of evidence longer than was previously possible I see no reason not to lengthen the time limits or indeed abandon them. If we reach a point where mass surveillance permits perfect video of a misdeed eighty years prior why not prosecute?

As far as video goes it is actually the opposite. Technology advances make video evidence worse.

We're maybe 10 to 20 years away from video not being worth very much as first hand evidence.

Just look at the recent Keanu Reeves gas station robbery video. If a few guys just playing around can make something somewhat convincing now, just imagine how bad it is going to get when the technology matures.
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Old 16th August 2019, 05:03 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by This is The End View Post
As far as video goes it is actually the opposite. Technology advances make video evidence worse.

We're maybe 10 to 20 years away from video not being worth very much as first hand evidence.

Just look at the recent Keanu Reeves gas station robbery video. If a few guys just playing around can make something somewhat convincing now, just imagine how bad it is going to get when the technology matures.
As we develop ways to do a thing we also develop ways to detect if that thing has been done. People could fake photographs minutes after photography was invented but we have ways to tell. Nothing is perfect, of course, but that's no reason to abandon something.
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Old 18th August 2019, 04:06 PM   #24
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The important thing is that my radio keeps playing commercials from lawyers that sound so somber about how much they care and want alleged victims to call their firms.
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Old 18th August 2019, 04:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Wolrab View Post
The important thing is that my radio keeps playing commercials from lawyers that sound so somber about how much they care and want alleged victims to call their firms.
I prefer the TV ads for lawyers, the ones that just hire an actor to say the speech plus the name of the firm, and then you travel and see the same commercial exactly except he says a different firm's name. It's a template! The actor just recorded dozens of different firm names and it gets spliced in by whichever market the ad's airing in! That blew my mind when I realized the "Kalfas and Nachman" ad was also the "Horowitz and Berencz" ad and the "Umler and Droomen" and so forth. I think I even saw it for "Smith and Smith" but that seems really unlikely for lawyer firm names.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:46 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cavemonster View Post
I've never really bought the supposed core argument for statutes of limitation.

I agree that the passage of time can make a defense more difficult, but to exactly that extent and in exactly those ways, wouldn't it make it that much harder to establish that something happened "Beyond a reasonable doubt"?
This
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Old 21st August 2019, 11:26 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I believe false confessions are more common at the time of the original investigation, when a) crazy people are attracted by the news and b) cops are under pressure to deliver results. It strikes me as less likely for a confession decades afterwards to be false.

That depends on the particular confessor.

In high-profile cases that are not quickly solved, police often have to put up with a lot of attention-seeking whackjobs calling up and "confessing" to the crimes, sometimes years after the event. That and "psychics" offering to solve the case for them.

Some people just want the notoriety of being attached to a famous incident. And yes, this holds just as true for "death-bed" confessions.
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