From war crimes to cases of child sexual abuse, recent news accounts have focused on the prosecution of crimes committed many years earlier. Lawyers Shuman (Southern Methodist U.) and Smith (U. of Edinburgh) examine how the different categories of such cases are interrelated, and attempt to sort out which crimes should be left to the past and which should be acted on. They present a series of representative cases, including two murders, a war crime, and a sexual abuse case, and consider issues such as punishment, forgiveness, jurisdictional and time limitations, pardon and amnesty, proof and memory, and the psychological impact on victims of the prosecution of old crimes.
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