Q:

How do you write a writ of habeas corpus?

A:

Quick Answer

A writ of habeas corpus is a court order to an institution ordering a prisoner brought to the court on the grounds of possible unlawful imprisonment. The prisoner or a lawyer does not write the writ but rather write a petition to grant the writ. To do this, the petitioner fills out the proper state or federal form giving the facts of the custody and legal basis for the petition.

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Full Answer

Habeas corpus, which in Latin means "you have the body," is a legal means for citizens to avoid being held without trial and to protest improper jail conditions. If the custodian cannot prove justification for the imprisonment, the court can order the prisoner's release. The U.S. Constitution provides for habeas corpus, as do many state constitutions. For a writ of habeas corpus to be granted, the prisoner must already be in custody, and the state appeal process must already have been exhausted.

In a habeas corpus review, a court is allowed to consider new evidence. Due process provides prisoners with guaranteed rights such as the right to counsel, protection from unlawful search and seizure, and a fair and speedy trial by a jury of peers. Habeas corpus is commonly used as a post-conviction last resort by prisoners who are convinced that one or more of their due process rights were violated during the course of the judicial proceedings leading to their imprisonment.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why did Abraham Lincoln suspend habeas corpus?

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    President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus to maintain public order in restive areas. Restive areas are areas in which people are restless, unruly and often disobedient. Habeas corpus refers to a person's right to appear before a judge before imprisonment.

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  • Q:

    How do you get a writ of mandamus?

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    You must be a party to a lawsuit or a legal action in order to petition a judicial entity for a writ of mandamus, according to Cornell University Law School. A writ of mandamus is a court order that forces a government official, corporation or governmental body to act.

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  • Q:

    Why did Lincoln suspend the writ of habeas corpus?

    A:

    President Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in an effort to protect public safety and reduce the potential for rebellion. There were many people in Maryland who were sympathetic to the Confederate army. Maryland was strategically important because all of the overland supply and communication lines ran through Baltimore.

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  • Q:

    What are three things Congress does not have the power to do?

    A:

    The United States Congress cannot pass bills of attainder, suspend the writ of habeas corpus unless it is a time of national emergency or pass ex post facto laws. Even though Congress lacks these three powers, it can still accomplish a lot for the good of the country.

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