Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Released from Prison by Wire - Delivery of Warrant Unnecessary

A tale from the Annual Report of the Attorney General for 1925, page 406:

Re: Harry S. Stout, David Schulman and Arthur Todd. Convicted in New Jersey for selling liquor in violation of the national prohibition act and sentenced to 4 months each in the county jail at Trenton, N.J.

"From the reports received, it appeared that petitioners were employees of the principals who operated the Bismark Cafe where the prohibition law was being violated. They appeared before the grand jury and without their testimony the principals would not have been indicted. In view of the services rendered the Government, the trial judge and the prosecuting attorney recommended clemency. The Attorney General concurred in their recommendation and advised that the sentences be commuted to expire at once. The President on Feb. 6, 1925, commuted the sentences as recommended, but the following day, and before the official warrants of commutation had been delivered, he revoked the commutations as to Stout and Schulman. The applicants had, however, been released by wire, and as their terms, in any event would expire Feb. 13, 1925, no further action was taken."

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