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ex post facto law

ex post facto law in Culture

ex post facto law definition


A law that makes illegal an act that was legal when committed, increases the penalties for an infraction after it has been committed, or changes the rules of evidence to make conviction easier. The Constitution prohibits the making of ex post facto law. (See ex post facto.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ex post facto law

law that retroactively makes criminal conduct that was not criminal when performed, increases the punishment for crimes already committed, or changes the rules of procedure in force at the time an alleged crime was committed in a way substantially disadvantageous to the accused.

Learn more about ex post facto law with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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