Statue of Limitations

Periodically I'll catch a top news line heading on my homepage that really catches my attention. Headline writing is an art. Anyway, the following headline, caught my attention: "Man Who Sent Apology Sentenced for Rape" (By KRISTEN GELINEAU AP
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. March 15)

I wondered when the apology occured in reference to the court hearing, so I opened the link to the article. It appears that the man charged apologized and was charged fairly recently, whereas the crime he committed occured over 20 years ago in 1984. This brings about the question whether or not a case and conviction can be brought back if it is not dealt with by authorities in a reasonable passing of time.

This also brings about another question about apologies and repentance. Had this man never apologized to this woman, she wouldn't have been able to take him back to court and he wouldn't have had to deal with any legal consequences for his sinful actions. He accepted his punishment and recognized that even today there are consequences for one's actions, but I wonder why this woman wasn't more merciful considering that she wouldn't have gotten justice if this man wouldn't have been willing to come back to her and apologize.

Any thoughts?

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