There is no Statute of Limitations for murder. In 2007 a Nevada jury convicted a step mother of killing her three-year-old step son 32 years before. Following the conviction, the step-mother, Wyman, appealed to the Supreme Court. One of her arguments, was that 32 years was too long of a delay to charge her with murder. She argued that the delay was intended by the State to gain a tactical advantage over her and that it prejudiced her.
The State had new evidence to charge her, which they did not have when the murder occurred. You see, Wyman’s own daughter, Dunn, grew up and had emotional scars because she witnessed the murder. As a young girl, she saw Wyman kick her three-year old step-brother to death and then later claim that the child fell off a chair. Dunn just never said anything until she started counseling for psychological issues. As a result, Dunn’s memory was enough to charge and then convict Wyman.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that Wyman did not prove that she was prejudiced by the delay. Therefore, the murder conviction is upheld. There is more to the decision, which you may read for yourself at: http://www.nevadajudiciary.us/index.php/advanced-opinions/523-wyman-v-state.html
Copyright: October 8, 2009
By: Anthony M. Wright, Esq.