Statute of Limitations



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  • Statute of Limitations

    Here's the hypothetical:

    Let's say someone in 1967, on the campus of a private college, created a bomb scare with an anonymous letter.

    My two questions:

    1. was it a federal crime;

    2. and what is the statute of limitations as applied to such a crime?

    And let's not jump to conclusions here, okay guys?

  • #2
    Re: Statute of Limitations

    3286. Extension of statute of limitation for certain terrorism offenses

    How Current is This?
    (a) Eight-Year Limitation.- Notwithstanding section 3282, no person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any noncapital offense involving a violation of any provision listed in section 2332b (g)(5)(B), or a violation of section 112, 351 (e), 1361, or 1751 (e) of this title, or section 46504, 46505, or 46506 of title 49, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within 8 years after the offense was committed. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, offenses listed in section 3295 are subject to the statute of limitations set forth in that section.

    (b) No Limitation.- Notwithstanding any other law, an indictment may be found or an information instituted at any time without limitation for any offense listed in section 2332b (g)(5)(B), if the commission of such offense resulted in, or created a forseeable [1] risk of, death or serious bodily injury to another person.
    So looks like eight years for a hoax, since there would be no actual risk of death or injury.
    Of course, they could try to argue that just because the bomb was never found doesn't mean there wasn't one or that the writer didn't plan to plant one and therefore argue in court that there is no limitation.


    • #3
      Re: Statute of Limitations

      Is this British and Commonwealth law, or US law? Because here we have a class of crimes known as federal crimes, which have a different statute of limitations.


      • #4
        Re: Statute of Limitations

        If you click on the link it takes you to the full details.
        Welcome to the United States Code.
        • This version is generated from the most recent official version made available by the US House of Representatives. For exact information about the currency of any particular title as it is published by the House blah blah....
        So it looks like federal. I would assume anything terrorism related would be federal.


        • #5
          Re: Statute of Limitations

          That's the thing. This isn't terrorism-related, merely a prank. But it's something that would shut down a college or university, especially if no building was specified. I thought that something like that would have either no statute of limitations, or a long one, such as twenty or thirty years.

          Interesting. And I thank you for your replies!


          • #6
            Re: Statute of Limitations

            These days at least anything that mentioned "bomb" would be considered terrorism. Back in the sixties maybe not.
            Not sure if that distinction could be backdated. Ie if it wasn't terrorism then but would be now then can the statute of limitations for terrorism now be applied on something that happened then when the statute then would have expired now?
            My brain is starting to hurt.

            I think that since it's such a grey area then use it in your script. Maybe a handful of law professors might say "Hey! That's not right!" but I doubt anyone else would.


            • #7
              Re: Statute of Limitations

              This is actually for a novel I'm in the course of revising (which means I can easily fudge the issue, but I'd at least like to know the hard truth behind it).

              It's hard to make the distinction. Back then, bomb scares were generally taken very seriously indeed, but tended to result in no bomb. There were underground groups (and I knew a few people involved with them) who were a good deal more lethal in their plans and actions, but the word terrorism was not usually used here.

              However, I do thank you for your responses, zz9.