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NCJ Number: 97417 Find in a Library
Title: Great Writ - A Reflection of Societal Change
Journal: Ohio State Law Journal  Volume:44  Issue:2  Dated:(1983)  Pages:337-365
Author(s): M Rosenn
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 29
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article highlights the expansion and contraction of Federal habeas corpus and explains how social change has influenced the reach of the writ.
Abstract: Attention focuses on the colonial era and on the first writ of habeas corpus, issued by a court of common pleas in 1670. Further, the Judiciary Act of 1789, which gave Federal courts the power to issue writs of habeas corpus, and Congress' expansion of the reach of the writ are described. Consideration is given to the Reconstruction period and to the Act of February 5, 1867; Congress markedly extended the historic boundaries of the writ by making it available to 'any person... restrained of his or her liberty in violation of the constitution ... or law of the United States.' The act also provided that petitioners for the writ may 'deny any of the material facts set forth in the return, or may allege facts.' The commencement of the modern era of habeas corpus is traced to the U.S. Supreme Court's historic 1953 decision in the Brown v. Allen case. Civil rights activity at mid-century is reviewed, as is the growth of crime in the mid-1960's. Additionally, the appointment of Supreme Court justices who acted to limit the availability of Federal habeas corpus is reported. Finally, the rules announced in Townsend v. Sain and Fay v. Noia, broadening the scope of the writ, are concluded to have helped implement a widely heralded civil rights movement that had begun in the early 1950's. Included are 233 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Habeas corpus; Legislation; US Supreme Court decisions
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