The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I, Section 10, Clause 1: "No State shall … pass … ex post facto Law…." American citizens are assured by this clause that they will not be charged for any crime that was not on the books before it was committed. More information on thissubject can be found here.
"The issue of ex post facto laws was more nuanced [than Bill of Attainder]. Many of the Founders regarded retroactive laws, both civil and criminal, as contrary to the principle of legality itself. Roman Law, as well as Henry de Bracton, Sir Edward Coke, and Sir William Blackstone in English law, and the influential Baron de Montesquieu condemned the practice. Thomas Jefferson noted in an 1813 letter to Isaac McPherson, `The sentiment that ex post facto laws are against natural right, is so strong in the
, that few, if any, of the state constitutions have failed to proscribe them.' At United States , some Framers, such as James Wilson, thought ex post facto laws so extra-legal that they were void ab initio; no textual prohibition was necessary. But a majority wanted the prohibition stated in express terms. (See David F. Forte in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, 170.) Philadelphia