The principle of habeas relief originated from the English legal system. It excludes a named person with the force of law to be excluded from court proceedings that lack sufficient cause and legally acceptable evidence. A motion of habeas relief enables a federal court to review the proceeding from a state court and determine the competency of the case. It is usually sought by a parry that feels aggrieved by the nature of the court proceedings.
After Mathew Musladin was convicted of murder, he appealed to the California Supreme Court arguing that the trial judge did not stop the family members from wearing a button with his picture. He argued that the button has been proved to have undue influence on the jury. The Supreme Court of California expressly denied his appeal. Musladin appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and subsequently his conviction of murder was overturned. The court held that wearing of the buttons was prejudicial to the defense. Warden Thomas Carrey petitioned the United States Supreme Court arguing that the Circuit court has exceeded its mandate.
The U.S Supreme Court held that there was no well-established federal law on the issue of spectator influence on the jury. As a result of the Circuit court erred in granting habeas relief to the Musladin. The United States Supreme Court was of the opinion that habeas relief was an issue of both federal law and the conduct of the spectators in the court. The Court did not abolish corpus relief but instead stated that the Circuit court should have made the decision based on either federal or state law. The ramifications of abolishing habeas relief would mean that the defendants in a case handled by a state court would not be able to petition the federal courts to review cases handled by state courts. It would entail making state criminal justice system independent of the federal courts.
Siegel , L., Schmalleger, F., & Worrall, J. (2014). Courts and Criminal Justice in America. New York: Pearson Education.