Oregon Supreme Court, May 6, 2021
Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA
EX POST FACTO LAWS - Ameliorative changes
Amended aggravated murder statute, with more elements, could lawfully be applied to conduct preceding the amendment. Reversed on state's appeal.
The court explained that the statute expressly applied to prosecutions for offenses occurring before its effective date, and that did not violate the Ex Post Facto clause because it had the effect of adding an element, making conviction more difficult. But a new death-penalty sentencing statute, with fewer elements, could not lawfully be applied to defendant, and thus he would be sentenced under the old sentencing provisions.
State v. Wolfe 368 Or 38 (April 28, 2021) (Walters) (Yamhill County, Easterday)