The writ of habeas corpus, Latin for “you have the body,” requires a jailer to exhibit the live body of the prisoner to a court and to explain why the prisoner is being held. A writ is a command, usually issued by someone with jurisdiction to issue a writ. In the United States, both state and federal prisoners can apply for habeas corpus in federal courts. Federal law and Supreme Court precedent control the petitioning and issuance of the writ at the federal level. State prisoners can also petition state ...

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