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Bayonets in ParadiseMartial Law in Hawai'i during World War II$
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Harry N. Scheiber and Jane L. Scheiber

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824852887

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824852887.001.0001

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New Habeas Cases

New Habeas Cases

The Provost Courts on Trial

(p.274) Chapter Fourteen New Habeas Cases
Bayonets in Paradise

Harry N. Scheiber

Jane L. Scheiber

University of Hawai'i Press

The next phase of the legal challenge was initiated by three prisoners who were not internees but had been convicted for ordinary crimes by the provost courts. The most celebrated of all the Hawai`i cases was that of a civil shipyard worker, Lloyd Duncan, convicted of assault on two military sentries. Judge Metzger presided in spring 1944 over an extended habeas hearing in which General Richardson and Admiral Nimitz reasserted the absolute need for the revised martial law regime as it then stood, including denial of the habeas privilege. Metzger ruled flatly against the Army’s authority to try civilians in provost courts for ordinary crimes. Meanwhile in the other federal district court, Judge J. Frank McLaughlin similarly granted habeas and released two prisoners, in one case on general grounds that the military’s full seizure of power was unconstitutional, and in the other on finding the prisoner had been blatantly denied even the rudiments of a fair trial. Again the Army appealed the district court rulings to the Ninth Circuit, and again the habeas decisions were overruled—thus setting the stage in November 1944 for a test in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Keywords:   Lloyd Duncan, habeas corpus, Robert Richardson, Chester Nimitz, Edward Ennis, Delbert Metzger, J. Frank McLaughlin, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, military necessity

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