Shield from After the Fact

Today’s lesson comes courtesy of my wonderful husband. Being very smart and an incredible writer, he was researching some law concepts today for a sports opinion piece and I tried to pitch in.

What many may know, I just discovered today – ex post facto law (Lat. after the fact). Simply stated, the United States Constitution forbids punishing offenders for doing something that was not illegal at the time an act was committed. Ex post facto laws (attempting to penalize for a former criminal event) cannot be passed, as the Constitution tries to protect individuals and entities from governmental abuse. For example, if you carried a concealed handgun before the 1920s, you can’t be punished for it, once concealed carry regulations were passed. A largely relatable illustration – if you did not wear a seatbelt prior to 1961, you couldn’t be punished once the legislation came in effect.


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