Ex Post Facto Laws Should Be Banned

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An ex post facto law is a law that is retroactive; after the fact. It is a law that retroactively changes an offender’s rights by criminalizing and imposing punishment for an act that was not punishable at the time the offender committed it. Or, it can be the raising the punishment for a crime after the crime is committed. It generally punishes conduct that was lawful when it was done but later becomes unlawful or increases the punishment (Ex Post Facto Law, n.d.).
The term ex post facto refers to any law, criminal or civil, that gives legal consequences to actions that took place before the date of the law (Adler, 1987). Those who formed the constitution were averse to ex post facto laws because it limited legislative power. Some of the founders felt such legislation was contrary to the basic principles of republican government and felt it necessary to include an explicit prohibition of ex post facto laws (Adler, 1987).
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Graham, the court sited three different reasons why ex post facto laws should be banned. First, by banning it, this allows for people to be given fair warning of what acts will be punishable and to what extent (Adler, 1987). Second, banning it will protect the right of people to choose their actions in reasonable reliance on existing laws, without fear the law will be changed maliciously. Third, banning it prevents vindictive acts on the part of the legislature (Adler, 1987).
Reference
Adler. D. (1987). Ex Post Facto Limitations of Changes in Evidentiary Law: Repeal of Accomplice Corroboration Requirements. Retrieved August 23, 2017 from http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol55/iss6/13 Brody, D., & Acker, J. (2010). Criminal Law (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
Retrieved August 24, 2017, from https://www.betheluniversityonline. net/mscj/default.aspx?SectionID=2522&tabid=149#2 Ex Post Facto Law. (n.d.). FindLaw. Retrieved August 23, 2017, from

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