Justice.—Mr. Sheriff, proceed to the ... barracks, and acquaint the provost-marshal that a writ is preparing to suspend [the prisoner’s punishment]; and see that he be not [punished].
[The Court awaited, in a state of the utmost agitation, the return of the Sheriff.]
Mr. Sheriff.—.... I have been at the barracks, in pursuance of your order. The provost-marshal says he must obey [the Major] ... [the] Major says he must obey [the commander in chief]
. . . .
Justice.—Mr. Sheriff; take the body of [prisoner] into your custody. Take the provost-martial and [the] [M]ajor into custody . . . .
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Can you identify what case this is from?
The writ [of habeas corpus] was made returnable for Friday .... When the Court sat on that day, [counsel] on behalf of the defendants, stated that ... the defendants did not propose to produce the bodies of the prisoners or to release them, but would undertake that [the status quo should be maintained] pending the hearing ....
Judge: I will not listen to any such answer to the writ. It must be returned in the proper course. It has not been obeyed, and such disobedience to the writ of habeas corpus is deliberate contempt of Court—unprecedented in the history of this Court and in the whole history of [our case] law. Let a writ of attachment be issued against the several parties to whom the writ is addressed. I do not know if it is intended to resist the writ of this Court by force of arms. If that is the case we have come to the days of red ruin and the breaking up of laws.
On the following day, [counsel] stated that the Government had decided to release the prisoners pending the [hearing], and [the Judge] accordingly, with the consent of counsel for the plaintiff, put a stay on the issue of the writs of attachment, and dispensed with any return to the writ of habeas corpus.
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