Reply To: Cato Inst. files amicus brief to Supreme Court in ex post facto case


Most of these “exclusionary zones” in which registrants cannot live, work, play, or perhaps even pass through should be considered to be, solidly and without any doubt, part of the “penalty” attached to a crime. The penalties that a crime carries are more than just incarceration. Aside from jail or prison, there are the statuses of being “on parole” and ‘/ or “on probation.” These are long-established and well known schemes by which offenders who are STILL BEING PUNISHED WITH A CRIMINAL SENTENCE IMPOSED ON THEM are given some limited and supervised freedom.

Anybody who says that “ex post facto” only means you can’t imprison somebody based on a new law that wasn’t on the books when the crime was committed is missing the boat, and not thinking straight. Ex Post Facto analysis anytime somebody’s freedom is significantly limited as a collateral effect of some prior crime that’s already had its due penalty imposed.

I would say the same thing for any government issued license or benefit, too.
If being a convicted felon doesn’t disqualify you from living in public housing projects TODAY, then any rule they may come up with in the future should only apply to people who committed their felonies AFTER the new rule took effect.

If getting a DUI / DWI doesn’t currently disqualify you from holding a General Contractor’s license in your state, it should not ever disqualify anybody who got a drunk driving conviction prior to a new rule that says you can’t have that construction / remodeling professional license if you’ve had a DUI.

Every criminal should be subject ONLY to the penalties (official penalties, imposed by the government), including restrictions on one’s liberty just for “public safety” reasons, that were part of the law and part of the original sentence in the case back when it was disposed of.