The ex Post Facto Clause is not Offended when the Policy Affected Cannot Result in a Longer Sentence

Seventh Circuit Criminal Case Summaries: Sentencing - Ex Post Facto

United States v. Diggs, No. 13-2718. Diggs challenged the constitutional effect of the amendment to § 1B1.10 which is a policy statement essentially prohibiting courts from applying retroactive amendments to the guidelines to reduce the sentence of any defendant which was already below the minimum of the amended guidelines. The Court of Appeals held that § 1B1.10 does not offend the ex post facto clause because there was no danger of the change in the guidelines resulting in an increased sentence. The nature of Amendment 750 and the § 3582 proceedings framework only work to reduce sentences, not increase them. Therefore, it was “ultimately unimportant that the policy amendment changed the policy in effect at the time of Diggs’ sentencing because it affected a law that became more lenient.”