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Abstract

This Article explores when laws altering the consequences of conviction can retroactively apply. It traces the roots of the current emphasis on plea agreements to the current confusion about how to determine retroactivity in cases involving quasi-economic transactions and those involving wrongful conduct. Using I.N.S. v. St. Cyr, 533 U.S. 298 (2001), it focuses on the open issue of the date against which new legal consequences are measured. Finally, the Article argues that reliance is an improper indicia of retroactivity for laws governing wrongful conduct and that the proper question is whether the offender had fair notice of the degree of consequences.

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