Crime Victim Rights Assessment, Ex Post Facto

Criminal Law Update

People v Earl 495 Mich 33; 845 NW2d 721 (2014)(march’14). Defendant was assessed $130 for a crime victim rights fee, though the assessment was in fact $60 when Defendant committed his crime and was later enhanced by statute. Defendant argued that the increase fee violated constitutional prohibitions on ex post facto laws. In People v Earl, 297 Mich App 104; 822 NW2d 271 (2012), the court of appeals held that the imposition of the increased assessment for offenses committed before that law's effective date “is not a violation of the ex post facto constitutional clauses.” The court held that the imposition of this fine was not intended as punishment. On March 20, 2013 the Michigan Supreme Court granted leave in Earl on this issue. Subsequently, in an opinion by Justice Cavanagh, the supreme court affirmed the court of appeals.