Title

Capital Punishment, Federal Courts, and the Writ of Habeas Corpus

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2003

Editor(s)

Stephen P. Garvey

ISBN

9780822384038

Publisher

Duke University Press

Language

en-US

Abstract

The controversy over capital punishment in the United States is entangled with a related debate regarding the role the federal courts should play in the adjudication of death penalty cases. That related quarrel turns on the federal courts’ authority to entertain habeas corpus petitions filed by death row prisoners. Historically, the writ of habeas corpus ensured that individuals did not suffer deprivations of liberty without a prompt judicial determination that their incarceration was lawful. In modern times, the writ supplies the principal means by which federal courts consider prisoners’ claims that they were convicted and sentenced to death in violation of the United States Constitution.

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