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Habeas corpus (Latin: "you have the body") is defined as:
"A writ requiring a person to be brought before a judge or court, especially for investigation of a restraint upon the person's liberty, used as a protection against illegal imprisonment.?"
Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
Random House, 2001.
Orders "that a prisoner be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not the prisoner is being imprisoned lawfully."
The 'Lectric Law Library adds:
Habeas corpus orders that a prisoner "be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person . . . should be released from custody."
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