Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

Lincoln, the Civil War and Habeas Corpus

Lincoln, the Civil War and Habeas Corpus

By Gene Barton

The Latin phrase habeas corpus means “you have the body.” Generally speaking, when one speaks of habeas corpus in a legal context, the reference is usually understood to mean habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, which is defined as: “A writ directed to the person detaining another, and commanding him to produce the body of the prisoner, or person detained.”1

Thus, a request for a writ of habeas corpus typically seeks an order releasing a person from custody. “This is the most common form of habeas corpus writ, the purpose of which is to test the legality of the detention or imprisonment;...

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