On June 10, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of PEUGH vs. UNITED STATES, Case # 12-62, in a 5-4 opinion, ruled the Ex Post Facto Clause of the U.S Constitution was violated when the newer 2009 version of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines was applied because it provides (an increased risk of) a much greater punishment when the defendant was sentenced, rather than using the 1988 guidelines that were promulgated prior to the time he was alleged to have committed the crimes in question. The defendant was convicted of five counts of bank fraud relating to criminal acts in 1999 and 2000 and, therefore, the range of sentences was 30 to 37 months in prison under the 1998 guidelines.
Notwithstanding the Constitution forbids the passage of ex post facto laws and after characterizing the case with far more severe consequences under the 2009 Guidelines that set forth a range of 70 to 87 months, the defendant received a sentence of 70 months in prison. The Supreme Court reversed the Court Of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that previously affirmed the Federal District Court.
It is an elementary principle of law and integral to due process that a defendant should be prosecuted based upon the law at the time he is alleged to be in violation.
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