Justinian C. Lane, Esq.
Let Justice Be Done, Though the Heavens May Fall

Justinian Lane's Blog

Justinian's Blog

So why is there a statute of limitations for wrongful death?

Saw that Gotti is in trouble again:

John A. Gotti has been charged with conspiracy for his role in a sprawling cocaine trafficking operation and in three mob-related killings in 1980s and ’90s, the United States attorney’s office in Tampa, Fla., announced on Tuesday.

. . . .

But Randy M. Mastro, a former deputy mayor under Rudolph Giuliani, said: “They’re old crimes, but the defense he used the last time — that he resigned from the mob — doesn’t work in this case. There’s no statute of limitations on murder.”

Source: CrimProf Blog: Gotti Back in Court

Many of the arguments for having a statute of limitations for wrongful death apply in murder cases: Witnesses die or disappear, memories fade, there is a sense of uncertainty, litigants want a sense of finality, etc.

So why shouldn’t we end the statute of limitations for wrongful death suits?  Or create a short statute for murder?