United States Supreme Court
532 U.S. 451 (2001)
At the time of this case, Tennessee followed the common law rule under which a defendant could not be convicted of murder if his victim did not die within a year and a day following the defendant’s act. Rogers (defendant) stabbed Bowdery, who died fifteen months later from complications resulting from the attack. Rogers was subsequently charged by the State of Tennessee (plaintiff) and convicted of second degree murder under a statute that made no reference to the year and a day rule. Rogers appealed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee on the ground that the year and a day rule applied, notwithstanding its omission from the statute, and that his conviction therefore violated the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States and Tennessee Constitutions. The Supreme Court of Tennessee found that the rationale for the year and a day rule no longer existed and abolished the rule. The court further held that the Ex Post Facto Clause prohibits only legislative acts and there did not apply to the judiciary. Finally, the court held that retroactive judicial actions are permissible under the Due Process Clause as long as they are not “unexpected and indefensible.” The court concluded that abolition of the year and a day rule was permissible under this standard and affirmed Rogers’ conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Scalia, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 237,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.