Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

I’m sure many people don’t like the concept of a statute of limitations, so I understand that issue. But as long as the tradition of British and American law sees value in limitations then I think that concept should be reasonably applied to crimes of a similar severity.

I understand the idea that every day someone stays in the country without a permit is “new crime” but that’s just a legal fiction, an argument that could be made to justify there being no statute of limitations.

We might as easily say that as long as a thief has possession of some of the stolen money that every day is a new crime and the statute of limitations for bank robbery never starts to run.

One can define any criminal act in different ways to extend (toll) the statute of limitations, but the point of a statute of limitations is to end stale claims, to put a stop to things after some period of time, to tell Jean Val Jean that eventually the law will give up on punishing him for stealing that loaf of bread.

Graduate of Stanford University & U.C. Berkeley Law School. Author of 17 novels and over 200 Medium columns on Economics, Politics, Law, Humor & Satire.

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