The State Senate has given final approval to a bill that would end that statute of limitations on sex crimes where DNA evidence has been preserved. State Senator and former prosecutor Jonathan Nichols is principal author of SB 1428, which would end the 7 year statute of limitations for crimes such as rape, forcible sodomy and lewd molestation as long as there was DNA evidence collected from the victim or crime scene. Senate Majority Leader, Billy Mickle, D-Durant, is principal co-author of the measure.
Thanks to the many advances of science and technology, we can now positively identify a defendant with the use of DNA decades after a crime has occurred. The accuracy of DNA evidence when properly analyzed renders the use of a statute of limitations unnecessary in crimes such as rape and molestation, said Nichols, R-Norman.
SB 1428 requires that the DNA evidence be collected within seven years from discovery of the crime. Proper collection of the DNA from the victim or crime scene would then remove the statute of limitations.
This legislation will hand prosecutors a powerful tool in the prosecution of some of the worst crimes on the book. SB 1428 will allow prosecutors to bring a rapist to justice, whether it has been 10 days or 10 years since the crime, said Mickle.
I guarantee you a rape victim doesnt have a statute of limitations on her fear or suffering. It is grossly unfair to tell the victim 8 years later that we know who actually did this, but under state law hes free and clear. There is always a possibility that he has committed other rapes, and will continue to attack women or children until hes locked up, said Nichols.
SB 1428 now moves to the House of Representatives for a final okay before being sent to Governor Keating for his signature.