Washington Law Review


In Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Nelson, 100 L.Ed. Adv. R. 415, Sup.Ct. 477 (1956), the United States Supreme Court, per Mr. Chief Justice Warren, sustained the decision of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Western District, quashing the indictment of Steve Nelson under the Pennsylvania Sedition Act. (Under that indictment, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment, to a $10,000 fine and to costs of prosecution in the sum of $13,000 by the lower Pennsylvania court.) Subsequent to the state court trial, Nelson, an open and avowed communist, was tried and convicted under the federal anti-sedition act (the so-called Smith Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2385), receiving a five-year prison term. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 377 Pa. 58, 104 A.2d 133 (1954).

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