SCM NEWS & OPINIONS

State v. Perez, 2015 UT 13 (Jan. 27, 2015) 

In the context of legislative amendments to the Indigent Defense Act, the Utah Supreme Court rejected the government’s argument that there is a “clarification” exception to the general rule against retroactivity. Although prior cases alluded to such an exception, the Utah Supreme Court had never applied it as a freestanding exception, and more recent cases had repudiated it as such. As a result, the law that applied to the defendant’s conduct was the law as written at the time of his offense, not as later amended by the legislature.