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Outrageous_Garlic306 t1_j9k1vlg wrote

What are the consequences for the then-wife who lied? There really ought to be some.


palcatraz t1_j9kbiub wrote

It happened fifty years ago. The statute of limitations would've run out on that a long time ago.

Plus, there is always the question of if DeRoos threatened her too (he was obviously a violent man) and if you want to start prosecuting people who have made false statements under duress as that might lead to other people in similar situations never coming forward.

A lot of crimes eventually get solved because someone (usually an abused spouse) eventually goes to the police (most often when they've finally managed to get out of the abusive situation) and tells them they lied when providing an alibi previously. Yes, obviously they did something illegal at the time, but what is more important? Prosecuting these people for a relatively minor crime or being able to actually nail the people they were protecting at the time (who have often committed far more heinous crimes)


vulgarandmischevious t1_j9kc2z2 wrote

I don’t know why the statute of limitations is a thing.


dittybopper_05H t1_j9kcrb8 wrote

Because human memory is fallible and gets worse as the period of time increases. Witnesses die or move away. The ones that don't can misremember things. Forensic evidence degrades, goes missing, or simply was just based on crap science to begin with.

Having said that, there is no statute of limitations on murder.


palcatraz t1_j9kedyg wrote

Because evidence gets lost and degrades over time. Witnesses forget things and die. The longer ago a crime was, the harder it becomes to prove who did it (and to provide an alibi, which, while you are technically presumed innocent, is still important to keeping the wrong people out of jail)

Plus there is the more philosophical question of how long someone should be held responsible and if, at any point, it becomes less about correcting behaviour and more about vindictiveness. If someone committed a minor crime at age 17, and they are now 65 and have never once committed another crime, is society served by holding them responsible now? If prison time is supposed to reform someone (which is what many believe), does holding someone responsible for a minor crime they committed 40 years ago help anyone? Obviously there are crimes that are so immoral we should always keep people responsible (like murder) but for a lot of minor things, there is many people who feel that at some point it becomes irrelevant to prosecute.


pegothejerk t1_j9kd4he wrote

Many reasons, but particularly because the systems abhor open cases, because evidence and memory degrades, and to avoid using old events that weren’t considered worth pursuing at the time in someone’s mind as a new way to attack perceived enemies once power shifts.


dittybopper_05H t1_j9kdfog wrote

>The statute of limitations would've run out on that a long time ago.

There is no statute of limitations on murder.

§ 4501. Limitation of prosecutions for certain crimes

(a) Prosecutions for aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault, sexual exploitation of a minor as defined in subsection 3258(c) of this title, human trafficking, aggravated human trafficking, murder, manslaughter*, arson causing death, and kidnapping* may be commenced at any time after the commission of the offense.

I believe that's true for every state, and also for federal murder charges.


palcatraz t1_j9keqj2 wrote

Which is not relevant because DeRoos’ wife didn’t commit murder. She provided a false alibi/statement to the police which in most jurisdictions is only a gross misdemeanor.


dittybopper_05H t1_j9kqxo8 wrote

True. But in Vermont, it's a felony punishable by 7 years in prison:

Title 13: Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 1: General Provisions

§ 5. Accessory after the fact

A person not standing in the relation of husband, wife, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, or sister, by consanguinity or affinity, to an offender, who, after the commission of a felony, harbors, conceals, maintains, or assists such offender with intent that he or she shall avoid or escape arrest or punishment therefor, shall be imprisoned not more than seven years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.


However, she was his wife, so that doesn't apply either. If she wasn't otherwise related, the State would have 3 years to charge her before the statute of limitations ran out.

However, if they find out that she did anything to actually help him in any way prior or during the actual crime, they could charge her with the homicide:

§ 3. Accessory aiding commission of felony

A person who aids in the commission of a felony shall be punished as a principal.

Then there is no statute of limitations.