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.
June 7, 1989 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2011 |
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.
April 7, 2009 |
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.
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.
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.