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The now famous Busick injunction in use in California deserves special mention. When juries began to refuse to convict under the criminal syndicalism act the injunction was called into being. The Attorney General of the state appealed to Judge Busick of Sacramento county to enjoin all members of the I. W. W. from ever violating the criminal syndicalism law. The injunction was granted with the result that anyone who merely advocates or attempts to justify any act of force, violence, or sabotage may be hailed into court and sent to prison for the violation of the injunction. Not only may persons be imprisoned for violating the injunction, but they may also be tried under the criminal syndicalism law. This is a form, of course, of double jeopardy. In California men can twice be laid by the heels for the same offense.
While many states have laws making picketing illegal, Alabama goes to extremes in punishing the advocacy, duty, necessity, or propriety of picketing by any means. This means that not only picketing is illegal but to say that picketing ought to be allowed is also illegal. As the law covers the printed as well as the spoken word, some law reviews and legal text-books would fall under the ban.
Not only have new state laws been enacted to repress freedom of speech, but old laws long since deceased have been called into play. The arrest and conviction of Roger Baldwin, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, for unlawful assembly under a New Jersey statute of 1796 is the most famous of these cases. This is one of the few cases of unlawful assembly ever tried in the United States and the first one
6. For the full report of this important case see "Unlawful Assembly in Patterson", published by the American Civil Liberties Union.
ever tried in New Jersey. The trial of Anthony Bimba at Brockton, Massachusetts, in 1926 under a Puritan blasphem law of 1697 is another case. During this case there was talk of Clarence Darrow and Luther Burbank testing the law personally and Attorney General J. R. Benton of Massachusetts declared that they would be prosecuted if they dared to voice a disbelief in God in that state. A dead law can be quickly brought to life in Massachusetts.
No measuring stick of the viciously repressive character of the state laws is better than the penalties imposed. The average penalty amounts to about ten years. In Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, a sentence of twenty years confronts the violator. Kentucky assesses twenty-one years and South Dakota bears heaviest of all with a twenty-five year sentence. In some cases these heavy penalties amount to life imprisonment. These sentences are particularly harsh because homicide and the destruction of property are already punishable under the normal criminal law.
The state laws are not the only means whereby civil liberties have been abridged exclusive of the prosecutions of the Federal government. Municipalities have found ample reason for prohibiting speakers to express their opinions and under the licensing power have forbid them the use of halls and public parks. The constitution guarantees the right of free speech but this assumes a place to exercise that right, and when the place is denied the right of free speech is also denied. Any number of offenses may be used to throttle radicals in cities. Charges of loitering, blocking traffic, or littering the side