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Latin. From a thing done afterward. From (or by) an after act. After the thing is done; after the act is committed. Any act performed to affect some right or demand brought into question before the performance of that act, is called ex post facto. A law is called ex post facto which has a retrospective effect. See Bouie v. Columbia, 378 U.S. 347; Higginbotham v. State, 88 Fla. 26, 101 So. 233 (1924); Rhodes v. State, 283 So. 2d 351 (Fla. 1973).


All the restrictions contained in the Constitution of the United States on the power of the State Legislatures, were provided in favor of the authority of the Federal Government. The prohibition against their making any ex post facto laws was introduced for greater caution, and very probably arose from the knowledge, that the Parliament of Great Britain claimed and exercised a power to pass such laws, under the denomination of bills of attainder, or bills of pains and penalties; the first inflicting capital, and the other less, punishment. These acts were legislative judgments; and an exercise of judicial power. Sometimes they respected the crime, by declaring acts to be treason, which were not ...

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