Habeas Corpus and War

Essay by Sandrac0483University, Bachelor'sA, July 2014

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Running Head: HABEAS CORPUS 1


Cassandra A. Nix

Habeas Corpus and War

POL201: American National Government

Professor Espinoza

Ashford University

December 6, 2013

Since the start of current war in 2001, the government has seemed to stay under close observation by Americans. There have always been rules set in place by the Constitution which protect every person's rights. These rights do not stop when someone is criminally accused. A person accused of a crime has right to challenge the legality of the detention. This right is Habeas Corpus and is at the center of debates when it comes to detainees in the war on terror held at Guantanamo Bay. In this paper I will discuss how the right of habeas corpus plays into the war on terrorism; the rights that Guantanamo detainees should or should not have as well as ethical issues the United States Government are faced with when deciding treatment of such prisoners.

Habeas corpus originated in medieval England as a way of forcing a person's appearance before the court (Farrel, 2009). However, it has evolved into a manner of checking the state's legality of imprisonment. This change took place because there was concern over the unregulated ability of the crown to detain (Farrel, 2009). There were not checks on if a person was held legally so Parliament began efforts to change the rules. Habeas corpus went from ensuring court appearance to a way of stopping unlawful imprisonment from one's own government.

The idea of habeas corpus was welcomed but there was a long journey into making it a written right in the Declaration. In June 1946 a permanent Committee of Human Rights was put into place and habeas corpus was on the minds of many from the beginning. The first session of this committee...