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Was the suspension of habeas corpus by Jefferson Davis necessary - Research Paper Example

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Name Instructor Task Date Was the suspension of habeas corpus by Jefferson Davis necessary? Introduction “…the problem of survival was now inexorably his [Davis]. Congress had given him what he asked, or most of it, and if his program failed, the reckoning would be grim”1 The writ of habeas corpus is a common feature in most modern jurisdictions…
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Was the suspension of habeas corpus by Jefferson Davis necessary
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Download file to see previous pages It is thus imperative to begin with a detailed explanation of the meaning and key concepts of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is a writ founded on the legal doctrine of an accused person’s entitlement to a fair trial. Its essence is that a person deserves to be tried before an open court of law where he can respond to the charges presented before him as an accused person. It is therefore a court order to show cause as to the purpose and a justification for the arrest of the accused person. When presented before a court of law, the state is required to bring forth a prisoner held in custody so that the court can determine the lawfulness of the detention.2 It is for this reason that Habeas corpus is considered to be among the cornerstones of American civil liberties and has been used extensively as a powerful safeguard against unlawful arrests. The term ‘habeas corpus’ originates from the Latin maxim “to produce the body of”, whereby ‘habeas’ loosely translates to “you have” and ‘corpus’ refers to the body. The writ can be traced as far back as the British occupation of the United States. However, the most accurate detailed explanation of its origin is found in the British Magna Carta. ...
The American Constitution allows for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in cases of rebellion or the invasion of the public safety.4 Under the American history, the writ has been suspended severally, especially during the American civil war. The first suspension of the writ took place in 1861, where President Abraham Lincoln authorized a suspension of the writ upon the outbreak of riots, threats of succession and resident militia actions.5 Even then, this generated a public outcry in which the Maryland courts challenged the suspension of the writ.6 President Jefferson Davis repeated the same act upon the emergence of the American civil war. However, his suspension of the writ during the confederacy period earned him a lot mob criticism. This is because not only did he suspend the writ once, but also sought to seek the extension of the suspension through congress. Unlike in the north where the suspension arose from civil unrest, the suspension of the writ in the south was mainly to spur economic development that had been rampaged by the economic crisis of the south. Partly to blame for the extension of the suspension was the reasoning, by Jefferson Davis, that winning the confederacy war and uniting the northern and southern states was his priority. The extension of the martial law was just but the means to win the war over the south and return the south to economic prosperity. This therefore meant that when the attention of the world was upon the Confederacy, President Davis’ focus was solely upon how to win the war, no matter what it took and any step towards achieving this objective was acceptable. Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy The American civil war emerged as a fight to preserve the union that was the United States of America. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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