Flagpole, August 14, 2013 - Vol. 27, No. 30, Page 10


The Great Writ of Habeas Corpus, the only writ mentioned by name in the U.S. Constitution, is the glory of our legal system. This writ provides a legal remedy in court for obtaining relief from unlawful imprisonment and is, as Justice Felix Frankfurter observed, “one of the decisively differentiating factors between our democracy and totalitarian governments.” Above all, the writ of habeas corpus is one of the most important bulwarks of the Bill of Rights. If an American is restrained of his or her liberty by the government in violation of the Bill of Rights and if other remedies have failed or are unavailable to correct the injustice, habeas corpus may be used to obtain release from that unconstitutional custody.