Definition of EX POST FACTO


EX POST FACTO

contracts, crim. law. This is a technical expression,
which signifies, that something has been done after another thing, in
relation to the latter.

2. An estate granted, may be made good or avoided by matter ex post
facto, when an election is given to the party to accept or not to accept. 1
Co . 146.

3. The Constitution of the United States, art. 1, sec. 10, forbids the
states to pass any ex post facto law, which has been defined to be one
which renders the act punishable in a manner in which it was not punishable
when it was committed. 6 Cranch, 138. This definition extends to laws
passed after the act, and affecting a person by way of punishment of that
act, either in his person or estate. 3 Dall. 386, 1 Blackf. Ind. R. 193 2
Pet. U. S. Rep. 413 1 Kent, Com. 408, Danes Ab. Index, h. t.

4. This prohibition in the constitution against passing ex post facto
laws, applies exclusively to criminal or penal cases, and not to civil
cases. Serg. Const. Law, 356. Vide 2 Pick. R. 172, 11 Pick. R. 28, 2 Root,
R. 350, 5 Monr. 133, 9 Mass. R. 363, 3 N. H. Rep. 475, 7 John. R. 488, 6
Binn. R. 271, 1 J. J. Marsh, 563, 2 Pet. R. 681, and the article
Retrospective.


Source: Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition

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