Wednesday, May 2, 2007
HR 1872, "Effective Corruption Prosecutions Act of 2007" is the house bill that mirrors Senate Bill S. 118. It provides that 18 U.S.C. s 666 would be allowed as a RICO predicate. It allows for an 8-year statute of limitations for a host of statutes that are routinely used in corruption cases, as well as outside this sphere. For example, if passed into law it would allow for an 8-year statute of limitation in a simple bribery case or in a mail fraud case that uses the honest services statute (see here). The proposed legislation also calls for additional funding to investigate and prosecute corruption.
Clearly the proposal to extend the statute of limitations will be the most controversial aspect of this proposed legislation. Some anticipated questions:
- Is it really necessary for investigations (if starting immediately after the commission of the crime) to last for 8 years in these specific type of cases?
- Many of the statutes included in this proposed legislation involve simple forms of criminal conduct, and is it really necessary to provide investigators more time to proceed with these cases?
- Are these cases really more complicated than tax cases, cases that have a statute of limitations below 8 years?
- Is it necessary to place undue stress on individuals being investigated by giving the government a longer statute of limitations before some resolution is reached on a case?
- Has corruption increased so drastically from the past that warrants this legislation?
(esp) (w/ a hat tip to Stephanie Martz)