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Habeas for the Twenty-First CenturyUses, Abuses, and the Future of the Great Writ$
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Nancy J. King and Joseph L. Hoffmann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226436975

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.001.0001

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: Habeas for the Twenty-First Century

: Habeas for the Twenty-First Century

Chapter:
(p.167) Chapter Ten: Habeas for the Twenty-First Century
Source:
Habeas for the Twenty-First Century
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226436968.003.0010

This chapter discusses the habeas policy for the twenty-first century and beyond. Habeas must always remain a flexible judicial remedy, adaptable to enforce the rule of law and protect individual liberty whenever either detention practices or detention law shifts significantly. Moreover, its scope must never become a one-way ratchet that expands but never contracts. The Supreme Court's habeas decisions have provided guideposts for fair detention and judicial review policies. The latest empirical research showed that the lower federal courts currently serve exactly the core functions in their habeas review of capital cases. Popular perceptions of habeas corpus have for too long been distorted by the immense volume of meritless petitions filed by state and federal prisoners serving noncapital sentences. Both historically and functionally, the bigger picture of habeas goes well beyond these cases.

Keywords:   habeas policy, Supreme Court, habeas decisions, judicial review policies, federal courts, habeas corpus

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