The Writ of Habeas Corpus POL 201 - 87945

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The Writ of Habeas Corpus


Is it constitutional for our government to use torture during the interrogation process while at war at Guantanamo Bay? This is a debate that causes a tremendous amount of controversy all over the world. I believe that all humans are created equal and have rights that should never be infringed upon; therefore, it is imperative that we adopt a new system that does not violate the eighth amendment using cruel and inhumane punishment. In this paper, I will discuss the historical aspect, the meaning and relationships of habeas corpus, as well as many other motivating facts on the matter.   

When an individual is imprisoned, they often request a release by filing an appeal for a summons of habeas corpus. The purpose of habeas corpus is to allow rights to a person who is confined against their will without lawful justification. Habeas corpus safeguards a person’s release from imprisonment if they are unlawfully incarcerated. This writ does not penalize the offender. A habeas corpus request is an appeal that is filed by an individual who is against his own or someone else’s arrest or incarceration.      

            Habeas corpus’ most recognizable form, Ad Subjiciendum, has played a significant part in Anglo-American history as protection of individual liberty.  In the seventeenth century, the availability of habeas relief was in the middle of the struggle between Crown and Parliament, due to the fact that Parliament objected to unruly detentions with no judicial cures approaching. Notorious deficiencies of liberty led to widespread disapproval and objections, as many U.S. citizens were frequently held for extended periods of time with no trial and without recourse. Eventually, Parliament succeeded with the representation of the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, which completely authorized habeas relief under certain conditions with significant consequences for non-compliance.

     On October 17, 2006 George W. Bush endorsed a regulation suspending the act of habeas corpus to people determined by the U.S. to be an “enemy combatant” in the war on terror. Due to the fact that the law failed to precisely determine in fact, who was and was not an “enemy combatant” in the U.S., his suspension of the act caused tremendous disapproval.  This was not the first time habeas corpus was suspended. In 1861, only one month into Abraham Lincoln’s term