On June 16, 1918, Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. Debs was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War 1. He argued that he was exercising his right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the Espionage Act was unconstitutional. On January 28, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Debs v. United States.
The Supreme Court disagreed with Debs and affirmed his conviction. Clarence Darrow labored to obtain a pardon for Debs, or have his sentence commuted. President Wilson refused to comply, but on Christmas Day in 1921, President Harding agreed to commute his sentence to time served. Read more at http://goo.gl/EqRpX4.