Habeas Corpus: Gsl201: American National Government

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Habeas Corpus Kevin Clark Sr. POL201: American National Government (GSl1233B) Professor: Dovie Dawson September 17, 2012 Habeas Corpus If you get arrested in the United States there are certain laws that the procedures the courts must follow after detaining you as a prisoner. To ensure this is done right the Government came up with what is called the Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus is a Latin phrase that means “we command that you have a body”; it is a “writ” or a court order also known as the Great Writ that requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into a court of law. This is done to ensure that a prisoner can be released from unlawful detentions, it is also used to challenge the legality…show more content…
The availability of Habeas relief was at the center of the power struggle between the Crown and Parliament in the 17th century, when Parliament objected to the lawless detentions for which no judicial remedies were forthcoming. English citizens were often held for long periods of time without trial and no recourse. Eventually Parliament prevailed with the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679; this authorized habeas relief under certain circumstances with great penalties for noncompliance. The privileges of the Habeas Corpus have been suspended several times during English history, most recent during the 18th and 19th…show more content…
When the original 13 American colonies declared independence, and became a republic based on popular sovereignty, any person in the name of the people acquired the authority to initiate such writs. The U.S. Constitution includes the Habeas Corpus procedures in the Suspension Clause in Article 1, section 9, which states that the Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion that may harm the public’s safety. The suspension of the Habeas Corpus has occurred several times in U.S history, signed by Presidents Abraham Lincoln, George W, Bush and Barack Obama. On April 27, 1861 President Abraham Lincoln suspended the Habeas Corpus during the American Civil War, in response to riots and local militia actions, and the threat of Maryland seceding from the union leaving Washington D.C surrounded by hostile territory. On October 17 2006, President Bush signed a law suspending the right of the Habeas Corpus to persons determined by the U.S. to be an enemy combatant in the global war on terror. This drew sever criticism because the law failed to designate who will determine who is or is not an enemy

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