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BRADLEY V. UNITED STATES, 410 U. S. 605 (1973)

U.S. Supreme Court

Bradley v. United States, 410 U.S. 605 (1973)

Bradley v. United States

No. 71-1304

Argued January 8, 1973

Decided March 5, 1973

410 U.S. 605


On May 6, 1971, petitioners were convicted and sentenced for narcotics offenses committed in March, 1971. They received the minimum five-year sentences under a provision that was mandatory and made the sentences not subject to suspension, probation, or parole. Effective May 1, 1971, that provision was repealed and liberalized by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. On petitioners' motion for vacation of their sentences and remand for resentencing, the Court of Appeals held that the new provisions were unavailable in view of the Act's saving clause, which made them inapplicable to "prosecutions" antedating the Act's effective date.


1. The word "prosecutions" in the saving clause is to be accorded its normal legal sense, under which sentencing is a part of the concept of prosecution. Therefore, the saving clause barred the District Judge from suspending sentence or placing petitioners on probation. Pp. 410 U. S. 607-610.

2. Under the saving clause, parole under 18 U.S.C. § 4208(a) is likewise unavailable to petitioners, since, by its terms, that provision is inapplicable to offenses for which a mandatory penalty is provided; and, in any event, a decision to grant early parole under that provision must be made "[u]pon entering a judgment of conviction," which occurs before the end of the prosecution. Pp. 410 U. S. 610-611.

455 F.2d 1181, affirmed.

MARSHALL, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined, and in Part I of which BRENNAN and WHITE, JJ., joined. BRENNAN and WHITE, JJ., filed a statement concurring in the judgment, post, p. 410 U. S. 611. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, post, p. 410 U. S. 612.

Page 410 U. S. 606

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