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HEBERT V. LOUISIANA, 272 U. S. 312 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Hebert v. Louisiana, 272 U.S. 312 (1926)

Hebert v. Louisiana

No. 24

Submitted October 13, 1926

Decided November l, 1926

272 U.S. 312


1. The Eighteenth Amendment contemplates that the manufacture of intoxicating liquor for beverage purposes may be denounced as a criminal offense by both federal and state law; and that these laws may not only coexist but be given full operation, each independently of the other. P. 272 U. S. 314.

2. Where such manufacture is thus doubly denounced, one who engages therein commits two distinct offenses, one against the United States and one against the State, and may be subjected to prosecution and punishment in the federal courts for one and in the state courts for the other without any infraction of the constitutional rule against double jeopardy, it being limited to repeated prosecutions " for the same offense." P. 272 U. S. 314.

3. The provision of § 256, Jud. Code, giving the District Courts exclusive jurisdiction of offenses, relates only to offenses under the federal law, and does not affect the authority of a state court over an offense against the state law, although the same act was an offense against federal law as well. P. 272 U. S. 314.

4. The power of a State to declare criminal the manufacture of intoxicating liquor for beverage purposes and to prosecute offenders is not derived from the Eighteenth Amendment. P. 272 U. S. 314.

5. In the absence of objection by the United States, persons under federal indictment and on bail awaiting trial for violations of the federal prohibition law may be arrested and tried by the state courts for the same acts constituting violations of the state prohibition law. P. 272 U. S. 315.

6. A decision of a state supreme court construing state penal statutes in such wise as to impose a heavier sentence than would be valid under the construction advanced by the accused is not reviewable here as a denial of due process of law, under the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 272 U. S. 316.

7. The due process of law clause in the Fourteenth Amendment does not take up the statutes of the several States and make them the test of what it requires; nor does it enable this Court to revise the decisions of the state courts on questions of state law. What it does require is that state action, whether through one agency or another, shall be consistent with the fundamental chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 272 U. S. 313

principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of al our civil and political institutions and not infrequently are designated as " law of the land." Those principles are applicable alike in all the States, and do not depend upon or vary with local legislation. P. 272 U. S. 316.

158 La. 209 affirmed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Louisiana affirming a sentence for violation of the state law against manufacture of intoxicating liquor for beverage purposes.

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