Habeas Corpus – The Origins and Development of a Legal Doctrine

Geoffrey Scovil

Attorney Geoffrey “Geoff” Scovil represents clients through his private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he focuses on habeas corpus law. To train for his legal career, Geoffrey Scovil earned his J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude.

Habeas corpus, a Latin term translating as “produce the body,” is a legal doctrine against improper imprisonment. The doctrine has roots going back more than 800 years. In the early 13th century, a document called the Magna Carta was signed by King John of England, enshrining certain rights, including the right not to be imprisoned unlawfully.

However, although the Magna Carta did establish that right, it did not outline a legal procedure by which it could be enforced. In the 17th century, the Parliament of England made this right enforceable under the Habeas Corpus Acts, which together had an enormous influence inside and outside the country.

For example, the founding fathers of the United States frequently discussed habeas corpus. In fact, habeas corpus is enumerated explicitly in Article 1, Section 9.2 of the U.S. Constitution. Interestingly, the Constitution affords legal suspension of habeas corpus in the event of emergencies like a rebellion.

An Introduction to Habeas Corpus

 

Geoffrey Scovil

Attorney Geoffrey “Geoff” Scovil practices law in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With more than 20 years of experience trying criminal cases, he now primarily focuses on habeas corpus law. Geoffrey Scovil’s practice centers on post-conviction constitutional challenges to sentences, trials and the effectiveness of representation in serious criminal cases.

Habeas corpus, translated from the Latin as “that you have the body” is a fundamental principle of the United States justice system. It protects individuals from being held in custody without just cause and may be used as a challenge not only to detention but also to extradition, bail, or jurisdiction of the court.

Habeas corpus as an element of jurisprudence dates back to the 39th clause of the Magna Carta, signed by King John of England in 1215. Although its original purpose was to prevent the king from locking people away at his own whim, it ultimately became a way to protect citizens from imprisonment by constables and others who claimed legal authority.

When the Founding Fathers gathered to write the US Constitution, they insisted on the inclusion of habeas corpus. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution prevents its suspension except in cases of public safety.

Federal law grants prisoners the right to file a petition for habeas corpus, provided that the person is in custody at the time of filing. State prisoners must have already gone through all other available processes to challenge detentions.

Vegetarian Substitutes for Meat

Attorney at law Geoffrey “Geoff” Scovil practices Habeas Corpus law in New Mexico as a solo practitioner. He is one of the State of New Mexico Public Defender Department’s leading Habeas Corpus contracting attorneys and is highly familiar with trials and appellate research and writing. In his free time, Geoff Scovil enjoys trying different foods. He is especially fond of brick oven pizza and vegetarian cuisine.

When it comes to meat substitutes in vegetarian dishes, most individuals first think of tofu. However, there is a much larger variety of vegetables and even fruits that make great substitutes for meat. The following are just a few examples of meat substitutes and protein sources other than tofu.

-Mushrooms: With a rich and sometimes even meaty flavor, mushrooms, specifically Portobello and cremini mushrooms, are a great vegetarian substitute for meat in nearly every recipe. They can be eaten either as the main dish or can be used in place of meat on a sandwich or bun.

-Legumes: Beans, lentils, and other legumes are packed with protein and a number of healthy nutrients and minerals. They can easily be made into burgers or sausages and are great for adding to salads and soups for a little boost in flavor and nourishment.

-Cauliflower: When seasoned and cooked right, cauliflower can provide some of the same tastes found in various meat dishes. It works as a substitute for Buffalo wings and pizza crusts and can be sliced and prepared as a piccata dish.

-Potatoes: Although potatoes are commonly seen as side dishes, they can also be the star of a dish. Potatoes are great for soups and can even be added to burgers. They are versatile and come in a variety of types, making it easier to match their flavor to a dish.