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After Repeal, Liquor Prosecutions Halted


In U.S. v. Chambers, Clause Chambers and Byrum Gibson are prosecuted for possessing and transporting intoxicating liquor in violation of the National Prohibition Act. Although the events that led to their arrest occurred before ratification of the 21st Amendment, the prosecution occurred after its adoption. Thus the defendants asked the Court to dismiss their case because the laws for which they were arrested were no longer valid. The U.S. Supreme Court agrees that the prosecution under an inoperative or repealed law cannot go forward. The ruling, however, does not address whether defendants who had been convicted of alcohol-related charges during Prohibition are to be freed.