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Should The Statute of Limitations be Longer When The Alleged Criminal are Michigan Public Officials?

A picture of the capitol building in Washington DC, taken at night.
People expect more from their elected officials. And when those officials fall from grace, the public is very unforgiving!

Whether it’s cops, priests, teachers, or government officials, people expect more from those in authority. It’s the reason why a sexual assault by a doctor on a patient is considered more heinous than a random act of sexual violence commited by a stranger. It’s why there’s so much public rage when police officers break the law they’ve sworn to uphold, or when teachers are abusive of their students. 

People in positions of authority, who are leaders in their communities, are expected to be above the fray. They aren’t held to the same standard by the general public, and are presumed to be too honorable, or too responsible to get involved in shady dealings. So when they fall from grace, they fall hard!

New bills proposed extending the statute of limitations for public officials…

Certain Michigan legislators want to ensure that those members of the moral elite be held accountable for longer periods of time than the rest of society. How, you wonder? By extending the statute of limitations on any crimes committed by public officials in Michigan. The current statute of limitations for criminal misconduct cases is six years, but under the new bills that time period would be extended to ten years.

Bills were introduced recently in the state House and Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich and Representative John Cherry. If signed into law, they would extend the statute of limitations in any criminal misconduct cases involving public officials

This piece of legislation was prompted by the Flint Water Crisis.

The Flint water crisis, which began in 2014 when the city of Flint’s drinking water source was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the less costly Flint River. But improper treatment meant that lead leached from the pipes into the water, and people were being poisoned. Charges were brought against numerous city and state officials when it finally came out that they’d known and done nothing, that that didn’t result in much.

Although several people were fired, several people resigned, and a few folks were charged with criminal negligence, there were so many more issues to address. Yet the Flint water crisis prosecution team dropped remaining criminal charges without prejudice earlier this summer, saying they plan to restart the investigation. But people are concerned. Will the state run out of time before the public officials who are to blame get held accountable?

Will these bills help restore people’s faith in government?

House rep. John Cherry certainly hopes so. “Folks whose trust in government is already frayed, are very concerned that any people who engaged in criminal behavior are going to get off,” he explained in a recent statement to the Michigan press. “I want to make sure that folks who are doing a full, complete, professional investigation get a chance to file any charges that ought to be filed based on the evidence.”

If you’re in a position of authority and you’ve been accused of a crime, whether you’re a preacher, a police officer, a judge, a CPS worker, a teacher or a public official, you’re going to need some serious help. Being prosecuted in the court of public opinion can be detrimental to your case, and you need a defense attorney who knows how to manage those situations. So call 866 766 5245 today and discuss your situation with the experienced criminal defense team at The Kronzek Firm. We’re available 24/7 to help.

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