HARLAN V. MCGOURIN, 218 U. S. 442 (1910)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Harlan v. McGourin, 218 U.S. 442 (1910)

Harlan v. McGourin

Nos. 378, 379

Argued October 11, 12, 1910

Decided November 28, 1910

218 U.S. 442


The writ of habeas corpus cannot be used for purposes of proceedings in error; the jurisdiction under the writ is confined to determining from the record whether the petitioner is deprived of his liberty without authority of law. Hyde v. Shine, 199 U. S. 84; Greene v. Henkel, 183 U. S. 249, distinguished.

A collateral attack on the judgment under which petitioner in habeas

Page 218 U. S. 443

corpus proceedings is detained is only permitted where the objections if sustained would render the judgment not erroneous, but void. Under the statutes of the United States relative to the terms of the circuit court, the term of court at which the petitioners were convicted was properly held.

Objections to the order impaneling the grand jury on the ground that the judge was not in the district at the time, although within his circuit, must be raised by proper pleas in the court of original jurisdiction; they cannot be raised on habeas corpus after conviction. Objections that competent testimony was not presented to, or that the indictment under which petitioner was convicted was not regularly found by, the grand jury, cannot be made for the first time in a habeas corpus proceeding.

Where the sentence exceeds the authority of the court, at most only the excess will be void; the legal portion of the sentence cannot be attacked on that ground in habeas corpus proceedings.

The facts, which involve the validity of the conviction and sentence of the appellants and the power of the court to review the proceedings nn habeas corpus, are stated in the opinion.

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