LYNCE v. MATHIS

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
95-7452
Petitioner 
Lynce
Respondent 
Mathis
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
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Facts of the Case 

Beginning in 1983, the Florida Legislature enacted a series of statutes authorizing the award of early release credits to prison inmates when the state prison population exceeded predetermined levels. In 1986, Kenneth Lynce received a 22-year prison sentence on a charge of attempted murder. In 1992, he was released based on the determination that he had accumulated five different types of early release credits totaling 5,668 days, including 1,860 days of "provisional credits" awarded as a result of prison overcrowding. Lynce was re-arrested and returned to custody shortly thereafter when the attorney general issued an opinion interpreting a 1992 statute as having retroactively canceled all provisional credits awarded to inmates convicted of murder and attempted murder. Lynce filed a habeas corpus petition alleging that the retroactive cancellation of provisional credits violated the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution. The District Court rejected Lynce's argument dismissing the petition on the ground that the sole purpose of these credits was to alleviate prison overcrowding. The Court of Appeals denied a certificate of probable cause.

Question 

Does Florida's 1992 statute canceling early release credits to prison inmates after they have been awarded violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Lynce, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Article 1, Section 10: Ex Post Facto

Yes. In an opinion authored by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court ruled that the 1992 statute canceling provisional release credits violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution.

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LYNCE v. MATHIS. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 14 December 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_7452>.
LYNCE v. MATHIS, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_7452 (last visited December 14, 2014).
"LYNCE v. MATHIS," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed December 14, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1996/1996_95_7452.