habeas corpus


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habeas corpus

(hā`bēəs kôr`pəs) [Lat.,=you should have the body], writwrit,
in law, written order issued in the name of the sovereign or the state in connection with a judicial or an administrative proceeding. Usually the writ requires the person to whom the command is issued to report at a fixed time (the return day) with proof of compliance or a
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 directed by a judge to some person who is detaining another, commanding him to bring the body of the person in his custody at a specified time to a specified place for a specified purpose. The writ's sole function is to release an individual from unlawful imprisonment; through this use it has come to be regarded as the great writ of liberty. The writ tests only whether a prisoner has been accorded due process, not whether he is guilty. The most common present-day usage of the writ is to appealappeal,
in law, hearing by a superior court to consider correcting or reversing the judgment of an inferior court, because of errors allegedly committed by the inferior court.
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 state criminal convictions to the federal courts when the petitioner believes his constitutional rights were violated by state procedure. An individual incarcerated in a state prison is expected to exhaust all possible routes available before applying to a federal judge for habeas corpus.

The term is mentioned as early as the 14th cent. in England, and was formalized in the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679. The privilege of the use of this writ as a safeguard against illegal imprisonment was highly regarded by the British colonists in America, and wrongful refusals to issue the writ were one of the grievances before the American Revolution. As a result, the Constitution of the United States provides that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (Article 1, Section 9). President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War, and his decision was upheld by Congress—despite protests by Chief Justice Roger Taney that such suspension was not within the powers of the president. The Supreme Court's liberal decisions in the 1950s and 1960s in the area of prisoners' rights encouraged many incarcerated persons to file writs challenging their convictions, but the Court under William Rehnquist limited multiple habeas corpus filings, particularly from prisoners on death row.

Bibliography

See P. D. Halliday, Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire (2010); J. J. Wert, Habeas Corpus in America (2011).

habeas corpus

Law a writ ordering a person to be brought before a court or judge, esp so that the court may ascertain whether his detention is lawful
References in periodicals archive ?
It provided a new standard of review, allowing federal courts to issue a writ of habeas corpus only if a state court's adjudication of a federal claim "resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.
It imposed a one-year statute of limitations on petitions for a writ of habeas corpus, measured from the day when the conviction becomes final.
Prior to the sixteenth century, habeas corpus was used primarily by the central courts of the Crown to check the jurisdiction of local courts.
Starting in the sixteenth century, habeas corpus was used to challenge the validity of imprisonments by rival central courts, such as the Court of Requests,(92) the Court of Admiralty,(93) and the Court of High Commission.
The famous Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, "the most wholesome law," was passed not simply to placate the masses, but with the specific desire to protect members of the House of Lords from being arrested by members of the House of Commons (Duker 1980, 48-51, 56).
The purpose of this article is to define the scope of the right to habeas corpus in the Inter-American system by examining the drafting history of these treaties and their application by the Inter-American human rights institutions.
18) Similarly, in 1941, immediately after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt asked Congress to suspend habeas corpus throughout the islands, and that body authorized the territorial Governor of Hawaii to temporarily do so.
Yesterday two High Court judges rejected arguments by the Crown Prosecution Service that habeas corpus did not apply in such cases
The first use of habeas corpus was in 1305, but it is thought to have been common law by the time of Magna Carta in 1215.
The Weldon bill, in cases like Terri's, would authorize what is known as a writ of habeas corpus to allow a federal district court to conduct a thorough review of state court decisions and proceedings in the light of the federal Constitution and laws.
Statutes do not need specific judicial review because all detentions are reviewable through habeas corpus proceedings.
Habeas corpus statutes, considered among the most complex areas of federal litigation, are the focus of Steven M.