chapter  9
12 Pages

Habeas Corpus: The Law's Desire to Have the Body

The history of Habeas corpus provides us, nevertheless, with a starting point: the topology, namely, of what belongs to the law's taking place. Moreover, the Habeas corpus writ and act together exemplify the technical, procedural interaction of sentence and execution; in the transfer of due process, it also exposes the displacement of its taking place, i.e. the sentence's taking place in the execution, and the execution's taking the place of the sentence: the topology, in short, of due process. There is no act, it seems, without the presence of the body in question, and no process without act. Habeas corpus the writ is to guarantee Habeas corpus the act in that it produces the body, if only to interrupt and delay the process by the very same token.