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before the judge who has granted the writ, and show why the prisoner is deprived of his liberty. If the jailer does not satisfy the judge, he is obliged to release the prisoner. This writ may be served on any one who is restraining another party for whatever cause. Lately a man and wife were divorced and their son was given by the court to the father, but the mother stole the child and refused to give him up. The father appealed to a judge of the district court, who issued a writ of habeas corpus requiring the mother to bring the child into court, and show by what authority she was detaining him. The writ may be issued by any court of a grade superior to that which caused the imprisonment of the party; but as a rule the United States courts cannot interfere with those imprisoned under State laws, unless in cases where the National laws are involved. Neither, as a rule, can State courts issue a writ interfering with the action of Federal courts.
Below is a copy of a writ issued by the Superior Court of Cedar Rapids, in behalf of a man who claimed to have been imprisoned without privilege of bail. For obvious reasons we do not quote the real name of the party in the case.
Smith & Clemans filed a petition in the Superior Court for a writ of habeas corpus to secure the release of Richard Roe from the county jail at Marion. Judge Stoneman granted the writ, and the order directed to Constable Oxley of Marion reads as follows:
“ You are hereby commanded to have the body of Richard Roe, by you unlawfully detained, as is alleged in the petition before me, John T. Stoneman, judge of the Superior Court, in and for the city of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, at the Superior Court in the city of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, on this 10th day of
February, 1893, forthwith, to be dealt with according to law, and have you then and there this writ, with the return thereon, with your doings in the premises."
188. Relation of Military to Civil Power.—Sec. 14. The military shall be subordinate to the civil power. No standing army shall be kept up by the State in time of peace; and in time of war, no appropriation for a standing army shall be for a longer time than two years.
Art. IV., Sec. 7., shows how the military is kept subordinate to the civil power.
The last part of the clause is intended to prevent the legislature from supporting a standing army contrary to the will of the people,
189. Forced Hospitality to Soldiers.-Sec, 15. No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war except in the manner prescribed by law.
Students of United States history will recall how, just before the Revolution, the “populous and cominercial town of Boston was garrisoned with an army (British), sent not to protect but enslave its inhabitants,” and how by that means the “civil government was overturned and a military despotism erected upon its ruins.” It was quite customary then to force private families to shelter and feed the soldiers o'. King George.
190. Treason.-Sec. 16. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, adhering to its enemies, or giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the evidence of two witnesses to the same overt act, or confession in
Notice three points in the definition of treason; also four points in connection with conviction.
191. Injustice and Cruelty to Prisoners.--Sec. 17. Excessive bail shall not be required; excessive fines shall not be imposed, and cruel and unusual punishment shall not be inflicted.
This section prevents unprincipled judges from using extortion and cruelty toward helpless prisoners, a very common practice in olden times. Read the articles on “Prisons and Prison Discipline,” in the International Cyclopædia. 192. Eminent Domain.-Sec. 18.
Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made, or secured to be made to the owner thereof, as soon as the damages shall be assessed by a jury, who shall not take into consideration any advantages that may result to said owner on account of the improvement for which it is taken.
The right of eminent domain allows the government to require the sale of private property, if it is needed for the public good, not otherwise. This is a fundamental principle in government. The right is frequently exercised in what is called condemning private property to secure a location for a school-house, or to extend a street through a private lot. An appeal may be taken from the decision of the appraising jury to the district court. Explain the last clause of section 18.
193. Imprisonment for Debt.Sec. 19. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in case of fraud; and no person shall be imprisoned for a military fine in time of peace.
Until the passage of the later bankrupt laws in England, the prisons of that country were crowded with debtors. A vivid picture of this condition of affairs may be found in the description of the Marshalsea and
other debtors' prisons in Dickens' “Little Dorrit." The colony of Georgia was planned by Oglethorpe as an asylum for insolvent debtors. With regard to the arrest of debtors, most of the States of the Union have followed the example of New York, where imprisonment for debt, except in certain cases, was abolished in 1831. In case of fraud, the party would be imprisoned for a misdemeanor, and not for debt. Mesne process is the process intervening between the beginning and the end of a suit. Final process is a writ of execution in action at law. (International Dictionary.)
194, Right of Assembly and Petition.--Sec. 20. The people have the right freely to assemble together to counsel for the common good; to make known their opinions to their representatives and to petition for a redress of grievances.
The industrial armies under Coxey and Kelly in 1894 were cases of assembly and petition combined, but the men composing some of these armies were guilty of many abuses of their privileges while on the march.
195. Attainder, Ex Post Facto, Etc.--Sec. 21. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.
A bill of attainder is a judicial act passed by a legislative body, condemning a man to death or outlawry without a fair trial “for offenses against the state or public peace," i.e., political offenses.
In England, bills of attainder were formerly a favorite means of disposing of obnoxious noblemen, and of securing large fortunes to the crown. Such acts were accompanied by (1) the confiscation of property, and (2) the forfeit
ure of all claims to legal rights and protection. By this "attaint” or “corruption of blood,” the children of the condemned were debarred from inheritance of any property through him.
196. Ex Post Facto Laws.—Ex post facto laws are laws making criminal an act which was not criminal when committed, or laying upon an act previously committed a penalty heavier than was required by law when the act was committed. Ex post facto laws are retro-active, but all retro-active laws are not ex post facto, for the ex post facto principle does not apply to civil cases.
197. Impairing Obligation of Contracts.No law may be passed which releases a party from a contract made before the law was passed. Even the Federal Constititution forbids states to pass such laws; and when the State of Tennessee annulled the charter of the city of Memphis, and gave it a new charter, which declared that the city was not liable for any debts contracted under the old charter, the case was taken into the Federal courts, and the charter declared unconstitutional in so far as it impaired the previous contracts of the city.
198, Rights of Foreigners.--Sec. 22. Foreigners who are or may hereafter become residents of this State shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment, and descent of property as nativeborn citizens.
Does this give foreigners the right of elective franchise (voting) ?
199. Slavery.--Sec. 23. There shall be no slavery in this State; nor shall there be involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crime.