Law Observance: Shall the People of the United States Uphold the Constitution?

By W. Durant C. | Go to book overview

USE STATE COURTS AND PADLOCK
Guy W. Cheney District Attorney, Steuben County Coming, New YorkNATIONAL prohibition can be enforced to a reasonable degree by a thorough and efficient use of the means now, provided by the Volstead law and by the creation by statute of certain additional machinery.From an experience of seven years as the district attorney of a rural county, I have reached the following very definite conclusions:
1. The methods provided for criminal prosecution and conviction under the law as it stands today are hopelessly inadequate.
2. The creation of minor criminal courts of sufficient number to take care of the vast number of violations is the only way that violations of the Volstead law can be punished criminally in sufficient numbers to create a respect for the law on the part of the violator.
3. The use of injunctions has been the most effective means wherever they have been employed, commonly called padlocks.
4. The use of the state courts by federal enforcement officers can multiply a hundred times the effectiveness of the padlock.

Whether or not the state should co-operate to the fullest extent by the passage of a state enforcement act is academic. The fact remains that the state of New York, the largest state in the Union, containing about one-tenth of the total population of the United States, has no such act, and by the nature of its population probably will not have such an act for several years. The state of Massachusetts in the recent election voted overwhelmingly in

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