Writ of Habeas Corpus

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, President of the United States, United States Constitution Pages: 6 (1900 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Writ of Habeas Corpus
POL 201
September 24, 2012

Writ of Habeas Corpus
Habeas Corpus demands a court to a jailer to produce the prisoner and announce the charges (Levin-Waldman, 2012). Habeas Corpus is an ancient common law that applies to all Americans and anybody in the United States at the time of their arrest. It is a legal procedure that requires a person to be brought in front after the have been arrested/ taken into custody. This is done so that the government to show cause to why the liberty of that person is being taken away and to let the person know what they are being charged with. Habeas Corpus is fundamental to American and all other English common law derivative systems of jurisprudence. It is the ultimate lawful and peaceable remedy for adjudicating the providence of liberty’s restraint (http://www.slate.com). History of Habeas Corpus

The history of Habeas Corpus is an ancient law that has been used since the middle ages. It appears to be predominately of Anglo-Saxon common law origin but the exact origins are not really known. Even though the origin of Habeas Corpus is unknown it has been used in Europe for centuries. Its principle that has been used since the middle ages by various writs (http://www.slate.com). Habeas Corpus has evolved and changed a bit over the years, but it has basically remained the same. Habeas Corpus states that a person who has been arrested or in custody be brought before a court. Habeas Corpus has been used in the United States since the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. The Writ of Habeas Corpus was established by the British and was generally regarded as part of the fundamental protections guaranteed by law to each citizen (http://www.slate.com). Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution guarantees the availability of the writ of habeas corpus (http://search.proquest.com). Habeas corpus serves as a tool or legal defense by people that are detained by the government. Habeas Corpus has also been used by detained suspected terrorist/ enemy combatants to challenge the government as to the legality of their detention. Since the beginning of the War on Terror hundreds of suspected terrorist/ enemy combatants have been held at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility. Some of the detainees that are held there today have been in detention since January 2002. This has created many debates because many people feel that they are being held illegally in direct violation of the US Constitution and International Law. Suspension of Habeas Corpus

Article I, Section 9 of the US Constitution, states 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" (http://www.slate.com). This means that every American is entitled to Habeas Corpus and that the only way that the government can suspend Habeas Corpus is during a rebellion or a direct threat to public safety. This is one of the ways that the Bush Administration justified detaining hundreds of suspected terrorist for years in detention facilities like Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their justification was that the suspected terrorist posed a threat to the safety and security of the American people and the United States Government. They also used President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to suspend Habeas Corpus in April 27, 1861 as an example of how and way it was important to detain suspected terrorist.

On April 27, 1861, President Lincoln suspended the habeas corpus privilege on points along the Philadelphia-Washington route (http://www.slate.com). This was done after 20,000 Confederate sympathizers in Baltimore tried to stop Union troops from traveling from one train station to another en route to Washington, causing a riot (http://www.slate.com). President Lincoln viewed the Confederate sympathizers as a threat to public safety, and their actions could also be considered a rebellion against the...

References: Staab, J. B. (2008). The war on terror 's impact on habeas corpus: The constitutionality of the
military commissions act of 2006
Redish, M. H., & McNamara, C. (2010). Habeas corpus, due process and the suspension clause:
A study in the foundations of american constitutionalism
Levin-Waldman, O. M. (2012). American government. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint
Education, Inc.
Greenberg, D. (2001). Lincoln 's Crackdown Suspects jailed. No charges filed. Sound familiar? Slate.
Retrieved September 22, 2012, from
Azmy, B. (2009). Boumediene v. bush and the new common law of habeas. Rochester,
Rochester: Retrieved September 22, 2012, from http://search.proquest.com/docview/189874026?accountid=32521
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