What Is Ex Post Facto Law

Sex offender registration was not mandatory for sex offenders until 2011 and had to be ordered by a judge. [14] [13] [15] Somewhat bizarrely, sex offender registration was apparently mandatory for those convicted before December 15, 2004 and serving a sentence on that day, but was only optional for sex offenders convicted between December 15, 2004 and January 1, 2011. In Starkey v Oklahoma Department of Corrections, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found that the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) is punitive or even intentional. Although the law in question was classified as non-retroactive, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections applied the new legislation retroactively. The court noted that “the retroactive application of the level allowance provisions of 57 O.S. Supp. 2007, 582.1 – 582.5, as amended, infringes the ex post facto clause. [43] The feeling that ex post facto laws violate natural law is so strong in the United States that few, if any, state constitutions have failed to prohibit them. The Federal Constitution prohibits them only in criminal cases; But they are as unfair in civil matters as they are in criminal matters, and omitting a warning that would have been right does not justify the wrong thing. Nor should it be presumed that the legislature intended to use an expression in an unjustifiable sense if it could ever be burdened with the right thing by design rules. The Charter prohibition applies only to criminal law. Changes to civil law in Canada can and sometimes are made retrospectively. In one example, convicted murderer Colin Thatcher was ordered to lose the proceeds of a book he had published (after being pardoned from prison) under a Saskatchewan law. Although the law was passed long after Thatcher`s conviction for murder, the courts ruled that these laws only impose civil penalties (as opposed to additional criminal penalties) and are therefore not subject to charter restrictions.

For more information on ex post facto, check out this article from the University of Chicago Law Review, this article from the Berkley Law Review, and this article from the University of North Carolina Law Review. A law that makes chewing gum illegal and requires the arrest of anyone who has ever chewed gum before the law even exists would be an example of an ex post facto law. Another example would be a law that commutes the sentence for reckless driving to the death penalty and stipulates that all reckless drivers currently incarcerated must be executed. However, the law on the prevention of cybercrime, which entered into force on 3 October 2012, is criticised as being a posteriori. [33] An ex post facto law (corrupt from Latin: ex postfacto, lit. “out of the suite”) is a law that retroactively modifies the legal consequences (or status) of acts committed before the promulgation of the law or relationships that existed before the promulgation of the law. In criminal law, it can criminalize acts that were lawful at the time they were committed; it may aggravate a crime by placing it in a more serious category than it was at the time it was committed; it may vary the prescribed penalty for a crime, by .B. adding new penalties or extending penalties; or it may change the rules of evidence to make a conviction for a crime more likely than would have been the case when the crime was committed. Scope of the provision.—The prohibition of ex post facto state laws, such as the related restriction imposed on the federal government by § 9, applies only to criminal and penal law and not to civil laws that infringe private rights.2033 The distinction between civil and criminal law was at the heart of the Court`s decision in Smith v. Doe2034 confirms the application of Alaska`s “Megan Act” to sex offenders, who were convicted before the law was passed.

Alaska law requires released sex offenders to register with local police and also provides for public notification on the Internet. The Court recognizes a “considerable respect” for the intention of the legislature; If the legislator`s goal was to adopt a system of civil regulation, then the law can only be effective in retrospect if there is “the clearest evidence” of the punitive effect.2035 Here, the court noted, the legislative intent was civil and not punitive – to promote public safety by “protecting the public from sex offenders.” The court then identified several “useful indicators” to support the analysis of whether a law that is not intended to be punitive always has a punitive effect. The registration and public notification of sex offenders is of recent origin and is not considered a “traditional means of punishment”. 2036 The law does not subject registrants to a “disability or affirmative restriction”; There is no physical coercion or occupational exclusion, and there is no restriction or supervision of living conditions, as may be the case in probation conditions. .