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For centuries, the writ of habeas corpus has served as an important safeguard against miscarriages of justice, and today it remains at the center of some of the most contentious issues of our time - among them terrorism, immigration, crime, and the death penalty. Yet, in recent decades, habeas has been seriously abused. In this book, Nancy J. King and Joseph L. Hoffmann argue that habeas should be exercised with greater prudence. Through historical, empirical, and legal analysis, as well as illustrative case studies, the authors examine the current use of the writ in the United States and offer sound reform proposals to help ensure its ongoing vitality in today's justice system. Comprehensive and thoroughly grounded in a modern understanding of habeas corpus, this informative book will be an insightful read for legal scholars and anyone interested in the importance of habeas corpus for American government.