Warden v. Marrero,
417 U.S. 653 (1974)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Warden v. Marrero, 417 U.S. 653 (1974)

Warden v. Marrero

No. 73-831

Argued April 29, 1974

Decided June 19, 1974

417 U.S. 653


The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which became effective May 1, 1971, makes parole under the general parole statute, 18 U.S.C. § 4202, available for almost all narcotics offenders. Respondent, who had been sentenced before May 1, 1971, and was ineligible for parole under 26 U.S.C. § 7237(d), which was repealed by the 1970 Act, sought habeas corpus in the District Court, claiming parole eligibility when one-third of his sentence had been served. The District Court denied relief on the ground that the prohibition on parole eligibility under 26 U.S.C. § 7237(d) had been preserved by § 1103(a) of the 1970 statute (which provides that "[p]rosecutions" for violations before May 1, 1971, shall not be affected by repeals of statutory provisions) and by the general saving clause, 1 U.S.C. § 109 (which provides that "[t]he repeal of any statute shall not have the effect to release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under such statute . . ."). The Court of Appeals reversed.


1. Section 1103(a) of the 1970 statute bars the Board of Parole from considering respondent for parole under 18 U.S.C. § 4202, since parole eligibility, as a practical matter, is determined at the time of sentencing, and sentencing is a part of the concept of "prosecution," saved by § 1103(a), Bradley v. United States, 410 U. S. 605. Pp. 417 U. S. 657-659.

2. The Board of Parole is also barred by the general saving clause from considering respondent for parole, since it is clear that Congress intended ineligibility for parole in § 7237(d) to be treated as part of the offender's "punishment," and therefore the prohibition against the offender's eligibility for parole under 18 U.S.C. § 4202 is a "penalty, forfeiture, or liability" under the saving clause. Pp. 417 U. S. 659-664.

483 F.2d 656, reversed.

Page 417 U. S. 654

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C.J., and STEWART, WHITE, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. BLACKMUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which DOUGLAS and MARSHALL, JJ., joined, post, p. 417 U. S. 664.

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