Wednesday, May 02, 2007

People v. Thomas (Cal. Ct. App. - May 2, 2007)

You can kill someone in Compton in 1981. You can flee the state, use false names, and evade prosecution for 25 years. All this is possible.

But when the authorites eventually find you in Cleveland, arrest you, extradite you to California for trial, and then convict you, what you can't do is to claim that it's a violation of due process to punish you for a murder you committed 25 years ago. Because, sure, it's been 25 years, and memories have perhaps faded. But it was your conduct in fleeing justice that caused the 25 year delay. Plus, at least here, you can't show prejudice as a result of the delay anyway.

You did it. You fled. You were convicted. Yes, it's justice delayed. But that's not the system's fault. It's yours. So it's not justice denied. Affirmed.