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Hastert case raises questions on law statutes

Posted by wlpo on May 1, 2016


The high profile sentencing of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is stirring debate over the statute of limitations for sex crimes against a child.  Judge Thomas M. Durkin told Hastert at his sentencing he can only sentence Hastert for financial crimes because the statute of limitations on child abuse had run out.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants the General Assembly to remove that limit saying child abuse is a unique set of circumstances and justifies a change. However, Northwestern University Law Professor Ron Allen told the Chicago Tribune there are good reasons to keep it.

Allen states that prosecutors tried to build cases in the 1980s and 1990s based on people with “recovered” memories…..only to see those cases unravel when the recollections turned out to be faulty.

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