Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror

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According to the United States Constitution, the writ of habeas corpus which is Latin for "you have the body" means that a prisoner has the right to question their imprisonment and if the government cannot show reason for why the prisoner is being held, they must be released immediately. The value of habeas corpus ensures that a prisoner can be released from an unlawful detention, detention that is lacking sufficient evidence or reason. The remedy can be pursued by the prisoner or by a person speaking for the prisoner. The Constitution allows either the prisoner or a representative for the prisoner to petition the court for a writ. Habeas corpus is maybe one of the most crucial forms of protection of the liberties of Americans since it protects citizens from wrongful detainment. We use it to appeal state convictions to the federal courts when a person who has been convicted of a crime feels his constitutional rights were violated on the state level. The prisoner must try all other means possible before they can apply to the federal courts for Habeas Corpus. Today, the Habeas Corpus is used mainly in part as a post-conviction cure for any state or federal prisoners that wish to challenge the legality of a claim of federal laws that are meant to be used in a judicial setting resulting in detainment. Although, Habeas Corpus can also be used for other such cases as deportation, immigration, and in military commissions to name a few. During the civil war, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the Habeas Corpus and rightfully so as the constitution dictates in Clause 2. Under the Constitution, the federal government can and unquestionably suspend the privilege of the writ of Habeas Corpus if the public safety requires it during t... ... middle of paper ... ...this act include, but are not limited to, surveillance of telephone calls, monitoring of email and digital communications and even the collection of business records. Opposition sees this act as a violation of what our Constitution intended and allows more power to the President that should be allowed. The parties who oppose this act believe that it should have been modified by our Congress in order to restrict some of these powers, when the USA Patriot Act came up for vote again. However, Congress did not do this and kept most of the original guidelines in place. I believe that while initially this was a necessary piece of legislation in a scary and frightening time of war, that now the guidelines should be able to be reduced to a respectable level so as not to encroach on individuals constitutional rights when they have no reason to set off “red flags”.

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