Derived from a Latin word, the term Habeas Corpus means ‘have the body.’ Having originated in England, this writ or legal action is designed to save an individual from illegal detention. According to writ of habeas corpus definition, this writ protects an individual against any harm that may be caused as a result of unfair decisions by the legal system. A major purpose of introducing this legal action is to check unlawful and unjust detention orders which the legal authorities may issue, thereby following the “Innocent until proven guilty” principle. The Court may release an accused if it thinks that he had been detained without any reasonable legal justification.
The new procedural laws for Habeas Corpus petitions are intended on speeding up the Supreme Court’s consideration of the Exhaustions petition. This should be done without unfairly limiting petitioners from raising new justifiable claims.
A brief description of the new procedural rules
- An individual sentenced to death can still petition a Habeas Corpus petition. The initial petition has no limitation regarding its length. All later petitions have a limit of up to 50 pages, or if drafted on a computer, a limit of 14,000 words, subject to a good cause exception.
- Accompanying the petition should be a table or chart, which should clearly and frankly specify all the following information. This will not be counted in the 50 page limit and should not be more than 10 pages long. The information to be disclosed include:
- The claims that have been previously raised and rejected, and where (either on the Habeas Corpus, or on appeal along with citations).
- The claims that could have been raised previously, and also the reason why they weren’t.
- The claims that have not been presented before the Supreme Court already.
- The claims that have been considered as unexhausted by the federal court, and which are now raised for the purpose of exhaustion, supported with copies of federal court orders.
3. A petitioner can choose to submit some or all of the claims that have been considered unexhausted by the federal court, in a table or a chart, for the Supreme Court’s consideration. This presentation can include a brief description of the issue, and also the reasons that state why the procedural bars are not applicable.
These are the new procedural rules that have been included as part of the writ of Habeas Corpus definition. For more information about the procedures, consult an experienced lawyer.Google+