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OPINION
May 26, 2010
A federal appeals court has ruled that, unlike inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, some 800 prisoners held at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan may not challenge their confinement by seeking writs of habeas corpus. The decision may be a fair reading of Supreme Court precedents, but it shouldn't be taken as a blank check for treating the Bagram airfield as the sort of legal black hole Guantanamo was before the courts intervened. In a 2008 decision granting habeas rights to Guantanamo detainees, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy stressed that Guantanamo was an area over which the United States had "total military and civil control."
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OPINION
June 12, 2012
Four years ago, the Supreme Court did its duty as a guardian of the Constitution by ruling that Congress couldn't prevent inmates at Guantanamo Bay from filing petitions for habeas corpus, a venerable feature of Anglo-American law that allows prisoners to challenge their confinement in court. This week, the justices walked away from that responsibility by refusing to review lower court rulings that have narrowed the protections of its 2008 decision to the vanishing point. In granting inmates a right to habeas in Boumediene vs. Bush, the court sternly corrected an overreaching executive and a compliant Congress.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Justice delayed was justice denied for Omer Harland Gallion. He died in prison in his sixth year of waiting for U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to act on a decision that he had been wrongfully convicted and should be released or retried. Anderson took no action until December, when he dismissed the matter as moot after an attorney brought Gallion's death to his attention. Two other cases in which junior judicial officials found grounds for striking prisoners' felony convictions also languished unattended by Anderson for five and a half and eight years, respectively.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2011 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
A judge listened to closing arguments Thursday on whether to reopen a case involving a man who has already served almost 15 years of a life sentence for a notorious 1995 dismemberment killing in Santa Clarita. "Something unusual is going on here," Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Dohi said at the conclusion of two days of arguments in the habeas corpus hearing in Van Nuys. A ruling will come after the holidays, he said. Edward Contreras, now 40, was convicted in 1997 along with Scott Taylor of killing their friend, Frederick Walker, at a backyard barbecue and stealing a $635 cash inheritance that Walker was carrying.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2011 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
A judge listened to closing arguments Thursday on whether to reopen a case involving a man who has already served almost 15 years of a life sentence for a notorious 1995 dismemberment killing in Santa Clarita. "Something unusual is going on here," Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Dohi said at the conclusion of two days of arguments in the habeas corpus hearing in Van Nuys. A ruling will come after the holidays, he said. Edward Contreras, now 40, was convicted in 1997 along with Scott Taylor of killing their friend, Frederick Walker, at a backyard barbecue and stealing a $635 cash inheritance that Walker was carrying.
NEWS
June 7, 1989 | PHILIP HAGER, Times Staff Writer
Over objections from two justices, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday issued new procedural rules designed to speed the review of death-penalty cases. The new standards require defense attorneys to ensure that habeas corpus petitions--in which condemned prisoners raise new issues that go beyond claims in their direct appeals to the court--are filed "without substantial delay." Until now, these secondary appeals, which raise such issues as inadequate trial counsel or newly discovered evidence, ordinarily have not been filed until after the defendant's direct appeal has been decided by the high court.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Lawyers for 17 Chinese Muslims held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to order their clients' release into the United States. The Muslims, members of the Uighur minority from China's Xinjiang region, have been held without charge at Guantanamo Bay for more than seven years despite their military jailers' concession years ago that they posed no threat to the United States.
OPINION
June 12, 2012
Four years ago, the Supreme Court did its duty as a guardian of the Constitution by ruling that Congress couldn't prevent inmates at Guantanamo Bay from filing petitions for habeas corpus, a venerable feature of Anglo-American law that allows prisoners to challenge their confinement in court. This week, the justices walked away from that responsibility by refusing to review lower court rulings that have narrowed the protections of its 2008 decision to the vanishing point. In granting inmates a right to habeas in Boumediene vs. Bush, the court sternly corrected an overreaching executive and a compliant Congress.
OPINION
November 29, 2006
Re "Do we need another T.R.?" Current, Nov. 26 We know Teddy Roosevelt. He was a friend of the American people when he went against fat-cat corporations and created national parks. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is no Teddy Roosevelt. When McCain's voting record shows he is indeed a conservative Republican, when he backs down from habeas corpus and kisses up to right-wing ideologues, he loses his "maverick" standing. In the real world, McCain is just another conservative Republican. JEROLD DRUCKER Tarzana Matt Welch's opinion piece is by far the ultimate in character assassination.
OPINION
May 12, 1991
Your editorial (April 23) about habeas corpus limits and Death Row prisoners was very well taken. There is still no evidence that the death penalty provides any benefit to society. In order to minimize error, it will always cost more to execute a prisoner than it will to keep him alive--unless the next step is to follow the criminal example and execute without a proper trial. Now the Supreme Court is once again willing to compromise our entire system of justice and erode every citizen's rights just to execute a handful of people as symbolic sacrifices, when it will have no effect on murder rates even if we execute 10 times the number we do now in the United States.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
Justice delayed was justice denied for Omer Harland Gallion. He died in prison in his sixth year of waiting for U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson to act on a decision that he had been wrongfully convicted and should be released or retried. Anderson took no action until December, when he dismissed the matter as moot after an attorney brought Gallion's death to his attention. Two other cases in which junior judicial officials found grounds for striking prisoners' felony convictions also languished unattended by Anderson for five and a half and eight years, respectively.
OPINION
May 26, 2010
A federal appeals court has ruled that, unlike inmates at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, some 800 prisoners held at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan may not challenge their confinement by seeking writs of habeas corpus. The decision may be a fair reading of Supreme Court precedents, but it shouldn't be taken as a blank check for treating the Bagram airfield as the sort of legal black hole Guantanamo was before the courts intervened. In a 2008 decision granting habeas rights to Guantanamo detainees, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy stressed that Guantanamo was an area over which the United States had "total military and civil control."
NATIONAL
May 21, 2010 | By David G. Savage and Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington bureau
The Obama administration has won the legal right to hold its terrorism suspects indefinitely and without oversight by judges — not at Guantanamo or in Illinois, but rather at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. appeals court in Washington ruled for the administration Friday and said the Constitution and its right to habeas corpus does not extend to foreign prisoners held by the U.S. military in Afghanistan because it is a war zone. The judges dismissed claims from three prisoners who were taken to Bagram from Pakistan and Thailand and have been held for as long as seven years.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Lawyers for 17 Chinese Muslims held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to order their clients' release into the United States. The Muslims, members of the Uighur minority from China's Xinjiang region, have been held without charge at Guantanamo Bay for more than seven years despite their military jailers' concession years ago that they posed no threat to the United States.
NATIONAL
December 23, 2007 | From Reuters
Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had a plan in 1950 to suspend the right to habeas corpus and imprison some 12,000 Americans he suspected of disloyalty, according to a newly released document. Hoover wanted President Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage" and sent the plan to the White House 12 days after the start of the Korean War, the New York Times reported today, citing the now declassified document.
OPINION
December 9, 2007
A few months after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government transported almost 700 suspected terrorists who had been captured abroad to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, where the Bush administration assumed -- wrongly -- that they would have no opportunity to challenge their confinement in a U.S. court. But what if the alleged enemy combatants had been deposited somewhere else -- say, in a prison under the control of the CIA in Egypt or Poland?
OPINION
March 12, 1989
Your editorial ("Bennett the Drug Czar," March 4) regarding the appointment of William Bennett to the position of drug czar misses the point rather badly. I'm certainly no fan of the Reagan agenda, which placed so many right-wing zealots, including Bennett, in senior positions. On the other hand, Bennett, for all his "diplomatic" shortcomings, did shake up the educational establishment, and pointed out very glaring deficiencies in the system. I'm far more concerned with the toll the drug world exacts on this society than I am over the niceties of constitutional rights or a comparison of whether we're in a serious war or a so-so war. If it takes the suspension of habeas corpus and the involvement of the military to get this filth out of America, then so be it. We are, or should be, at war. Ask the parent of a child innocently shot in a drug dealer's fight.
OPINION
October 6, 2006
Re "What my father saw at Nuremberg," Opinion, Oct. 1 When politics bloom, rewriting history becomes fair game. However, Sen. [Christopher] Dodd extrapolates beyond reason to prove his point. "When we entered World War II, we did not fight for land or for treasure -- we fought for an idea." Noble, but not factual. Born in 1944, Dodd has an excuse for not remembering that America entered the war after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war. Their actions provided the cause.
OPINION
July 8, 2007
ACCORDING TO Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley, "The Supreme Court follows th' ilection returns." The court may also follow the proceedings of Congress, which has yet to enact legislation restoring habeas corpus rights to detainees at Guantanamo Bay. There, Congress' indolence appears to have roused the court to action, a welcome development in a complex struggle among the branches of our federal government to safeguard the rights we trumpet to the world.
NATIONAL
June 8, 2007 | David G. Savage, Times Staff Writer
A Senate panel took the first step Thursday toward again giving foreign prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the right to go to court and seek their freedom. On a mostly party-line vote of 11 to 8, the Democratic-controlled Judiciary Committee said it would restore the right of habeas corpus that had been taken away in recent years by the Bush administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. "Habeas corpus was recklessly undermined in last year's legislation," said Sen. Patrick J.
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