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Who killed habeas corpus?

Judge Lynn Adelman, Eastern District of Wisconsin,  wrote an article by that name.  SSRN recently posted it online. An excerpt from the abstract is pasted in below. Don’t hold back. The article is short, and you won’t regret reading the whole thing . . . unless perhaps you’re Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, or a state appellate judge. 🙂

This article discusses the recent history of the writ of habeas corpus, once known as the Great Writ of Liberty, and concludes that the end result has been tragic.  Because of unwise decisions made by all three branches of government, Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court, the writ has largely been destroyed as an effective remedy for individuals who are imprisoned as a result of a violation of their federal constitutional rights by a state court . . .

The article contends that the loss of habeas corpus is profound because the writ is urgently needed.  This is so because, as state judicial elections have become increasingly contested, increasingly partisan, and increasingly well-financed, it is increasingly difficult for state court judges, who unlike federal judges do not have life tenure, to protect criminal defendants’ constitutional rights. As a result, too many people spend too many years in prison as a result of convictions involving violations of their constitutional rights.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • John Leonard January 28, 2018, 9:19 am

    The Writ of Habeas Corpus is every Public Defenders best friend to remedy incarceration issues and get the case quickly in front of the local judge. Once the opposition knows that you are going to make frequent use of the Writ and its companion, Certiorari, to remedy jail problems, etc., mere threat to do the same brings instant cooperation. Every Public Defender should have an easily tailorable form Writ of each type and supporting sample affidavit on his or her computer so you can prepare same in half an hour. Try it. You will love its effectiveness.

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