Beazell v. State of Ohio Chatfield v. Same, Nos. 247

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtSTONE
Citation70 L.Ed. 216,46 S.Ct. 68,269 U.S. 167
Docket NumberNos. 247,248
Decision Date16 November 1925
PartiesBEAZELL v. STATE OF OHIO et al. CHATFIELD v. SAME

269 U.S. 167

46 S.Ct. 68

70 L.Ed. 216

BEAZELL

v.

STATE OF OHIO et al.

CHATFIELD v. SAME.

Nos. 247, 248.

Submitted on Motion to Dismiss or Affirm Oct. 5, 1925.

Decided Nov. 16, 1925.

269 U.S. 168
46 S.Ct. 68

Messrs. Province M. Pogue and Harry M. Hoffheimer, both of Cincinnati, Ohio, for plaintiff in error Beazell.

Mr. Frank F. Dinsmore, of Cincinnati, Ohio, for plaintiff in error Chatfield.

Mr. John Wilson Brown, III, of Washington, D. C., for defendants in error.

Mr. Justice STONE delivered the opinion of the Court.

Plaintiffs in error were jointly indicted in the court of common pleas of Hamilton county, Ohio, for the crime of embezzlement, a felony. On February 13, 1923, the date of the offense as charged, Ohio General Code, § 13677, provided:

'When two or more persons are jointly indicted for a felony, on application to the court for that purpose, each shall be tried separately.'

In April of the same year, before the indictment, which was returned on October 25, this section was amended (110 Ohio Laws, p. 301) so as to provide:

269 U.S. 169

'When two or more persons are jointly indicted for a felony, except a capital offense, they shall be tried jointly, unless the court for good cause shown, on application therefor by the prosecuting attorney, or one or more of said defendants order that one or more of said defendants shall be tried separately.'

By another section, the amended act was made applicable to trials for offenses committed before the amendment.

The defendants severally made motions for separate trials on the ground that their defenses would be different, that each would be prejudiced by the introduction of evidence admissible against his codefendant, but inadmissible as to him, and that they were entitled to separate trials as a matter of right, specifically charging that as applied to their own indictment and trial, 'the amendment to the statutes of Ohio making the granting of said application for a separate trial discretionary with the trial court, is an ex post facto law within the restrictions imposed by article 1, § 10, of the Constitution of the United States,' which provides that 'no state shall * * * pass any * * * ex post facto law.'

Both motions were denied, the joint trial and conviction of the defendants followed, and in proceedings duly had in which the constitutional question was raised, their conviction was sustained by the Supreme Court of Ohio. The case comes before this court on motions to dismiss the writs of error or to affirm the judgment below.

It is settled, by decisions of this court so well known that their citation may be dispensed with, that any statute which punishes as a crime an act previously committed, which was innocent when done, which makes more burdensome the punishment for a crime, after its commission, or which deprives one charged with crime of any defense available according to law at the time when the act was committed, is prohibited as ex post

269 U.S. 170

facto. The constitutional prohibition and the judicial interpretation of it rest upon the notion that laws, whatever their form, which purport to make innocent acts criminal after the...

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797 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Gaviria, Nos. 95-3124
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 27, 1997
    ...crime of any defense available according to law at the time when the act was committed, is prohibited as ex post facto. Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 169-70, 46 S.Ct. 68, 68-69, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925). Accordingly, the Sentencing Guidelines state: "If the court determines that use of the Guid......
  • Al Bahlul v. United States, No. 11–1324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 14, 2014
    ...not violate the [Ex Post Facto] Clause”); id. at 542–47, 120 S.Ct. 1620 ; Collins, 497 U.S. at 43 n. 3, 110 S.Ct. 2715 ; Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 171, 46 S.Ct. 68, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925) ; Thompson v. Missouri, 171 U.S. 380, 386–88, 18 S.Ct. 922, 43 L.Ed. 204 (1898) ; Hopt v. Utah, 110 U......
  • U.S. v. Baker, Nos. 89-10302
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 13, 1993
    ...the act was committed.' " Collins v. Youngblood, 497 U.S. 37, 42, 110 S.Ct. 2715, 2719, 111 L.Ed.2d 30 (1990) (quoting Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 169-70, 46 S.Ct. 68, 69, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925)). In United States v. Juvenile Male, 819 F.2d 468, 470 (4th Cir.1987), the Fourth Circuit held t......
  • Kills on Top v. State, No. 98-492.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 19, 2000
    ...the law at the time the act was committed. State v. Leistiko (1992), 256 Mont. 32, 36, 844 P.2d 97, 99-100 (citing Beazell v. Ohio (1925), 269 U.S. 167, 46 S.Ct. 68, 70 L.Ed. 216). Application of our clarified standard of review in Montoya does not punish Petitioner for a crime which was no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
797 cases
  • U.S. v. Gaviria, Nos. 95-3124
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • June 27, 1997
    ...crime of any defense available according to law at the time when the act was committed, is prohibited as ex post facto. Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 169-70, 46 S.Ct. 68, 68-69, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925). Accordingly, the Sentencing Guidelines state: "If the court determines that use of the Guid......
  • Al Bahlul v. United States, No. 11–1324.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • July 14, 2014
    ...not violate the [Ex Post Facto] Clause”); id. at 542–47, 120 S.Ct. 1620 ; Collins, 497 U.S. at 43 n. 3, 110 S.Ct. 2715 ; Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 171, 46 S.Ct. 68, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925) ; Thompson v. Missouri, 171 U.S. 380, 386–88, 18 S.Ct. 922, 43 L.Ed. 204 (1898) ; Hopt v. Utah, 110 U......
  • U.S. v. Baker, Nos. 89-10302
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • December 13, 1993
    ...the act was committed.' " Collins v. Youngblood, 497 U.S. 37, 42, 110 S.Ct. 2715, 2719, 111 L.Ed.2d 30 (1990) (quoting Beazell v. Ohio, 269 U.S. 167, 169-70, 46 S.Ct. 68, 69, 70 L.Ed. 216 (1925)). In United States v. Juvenile Male, 819 F.2d 468, 470 (4th Cir.1987), the Fourth Circuit held t......
  • Kills on Top v. State, No. 98-492.
    • United States
    • Montana United States State Supreme Court of Montana
    • December 19, 2000
    ...the law at the time the act was committed. State v. Leistiko (1992), 256 Mont. 32, 36, 844 P.2d 97, 99-100 (citing Beazell v. Ohio (1925), 269 U.S. 167, 46 S.Ct. 68, 70 L.Ed. 216). Application of our clarified standard of review in Montoya does not punish Petitioner for a crime which was no......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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