What is habeas corpus? The law is full of a lot of Latin terms, and habeus corpus is one of them. It means literally, “produce the body.” What it really is, is the right that citizens have when they’re in jail to petition for a court to hear a claim that they think they shouldn’t be there. So, the court, when they issue a writ of habeus corpus, is basically saying to the jailers, “Produce the defendant, and let him plead for his freedom.” The prisoner, who was in jail for burglary, asked the court for a writ of habeus corpus, so he could bring new evidence of his innocence to the court.
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