304 U.S. 359 (1938), 782, Zerbst v. Kidwell

Docket Nº:No. 782
Citation:304 U.S. 359, 58 S.Ct. 872, 82 L.Ed. 1399
Party Name:Zerbst v. Kidwell
Case Date:May 16, 1938
Court:United States Supreme Court

Page 359

304 U.S. 359 (1938)

58 S.Ct. 872, 82 L.Ed. 1399




No. 782

United States Supreme Court

May 16, 1938

Argued April 27, 1938




A prisoner sentenced to a federal penal institution for an offense committed while he was on parole from such an institution may be required by the Parole Board to serve the unexpired portion of his first sentence after the expiration of his second sentence. P. 363.

92 F.2d 756 reversed.

Page 360

Certiorari, 303 U.S. 632, to review judgments affirming orders of the District Court discharging prisoners from custody, in habeas corpus proceedings.

BLACK, J., lead opinion

MR. JUSTICE BLACK delivered the opinion of the Court.

Respondents were paroled before completing sentences in federal prisons.1 Before expiration of their sentences and while on parole, they committed second [58 S.Ct. 873] federal offenses, for which they were convicted, sentenced, and thereafter completely served sentences in the Atlanta Penitentiary. Respondents contend that, from the moment of their imprisonment in the penitentiary under the second sentences, they also began service of the unexpired part of their original sentences. If this contention is correct, respondents have also completely served the unexpired parts of the first sentences.

Petitioner contends, however, that, when respondents violated their paroles by committing the second federal crimes, they were no longer in custody under the first sentences; service of the first sentences was interrupted and suspended, and was not resumed before completion of service of the second sentences, and that, after completion of the second sentences, the Board of Parole has authority to require completion of the first sentences, service of which ceased due to the interruption by parole violations.

Page 361

After completion of service of the second sentences, respondents were held in custody by the warden of the penitentiary under warrants of a member of the Board of Parole alleging violations of parole. The District Court, believing the first sentences "began to run again the moment . . . [respondents were] received at the Penitentiary," discharged respondents from custody on habeas corpus proceedings.2 The Court of Appeals affirmed.3 Due to the importance of the question involved, we granted certiorari.4

When respondent committed a federal crime while on parole, for which he was arrested, convicted, sentenced, and imprisoned, not only was his parole violated, but service of his original sentence was interrupted and suspended...

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