STATE OF NEW JERSEY VS. MELVIN HESTER/MARK WARNER/ ANTHONY MCKINNEY, AND LINWOOD ROUNDTREE
A-0068-16T1/ A-0069-16T1/ A-0070-16T1 AND A-0071-16T1
These four cases involve application of the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the Constitution. The State appealed from orders dismissing indictments charging defendants with third-degree violations of their special sentences of community supervision for life (CSL), N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4(d). Before the alleged CSL violations, the Legislature amended N.J.S.A. 2C:43-6.4. As applied, the amended law retroactively increased defendants' punishment for committing their predicate crimes by raising the degree of the CSL violation from a fourth degree to a third degree, mandating the imposition of Parole Supervision for Life, and subjecting them to extended prison terms.
In affirming the orders, we held that the commission of the predicate crime, for which defendants received the special sentence of CSL, rather than the alleged CSL violation, is the operative "crime" for determining whether the 2014 amended law violated the Ex Post Facto Clauses.