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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Facts 1. A Class A felony was committed in 1986 2. Statute

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1. A Class A felony was committed in 1986
2. Statute of limitations to prosecute a Class A felony at that time was 6 years
3. I 1990 the statute of limitations was amended from 6 years to 20 years
4. A state prosecuted a crime in 1997 for a crime committed 11 years earlier when the statute of limitations were in force when the crime was committed would have expired in 1992

I am presuming this would violate the ex post facto clause of the US Constitution. If I am correct could you provide any pertinent case law preferably US Supreme Court or Federal District Court decisions that would support mu ex post facto argument?

Thank you
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes you are seeking.

I am very sorry to say that you are not correct in that the statute of limitations, unlike other types of law changes, would not give rise to the ex post facto defense here, especially since the SOL was changed while your offense was still in the original statute of limitations. Had they enacted the law to extend the SOL AFTER your original SOL expired, you would have had an ex post facto argument.

The US Supreme Court held, "A law enacted after expiration of a previously applicable limitations period violates the Ex Post Facto Clause when it is applied to revive a previously time-barred prosecution." See: STOGNER v. CALIFORNIA, 539 U.S. 607 (2003).

Your argument would be absolutely correct had the statute of limitations already expired before the new law went into effect and that is exactly what the Stogner Court said in their case.

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