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Habeus Corpus

I think there may well be more sentenced prisoners who are being held beyond their lawful release date. I had a call from a lawyer recently who thought that his client was in the same position as the person who I obtained a habeus corpus writ for ordering his release from prison. So I thought I would explain more about that case so that anyone who has someone in a similar position might be albe to do something about it. The problem stems from the fact that the Corrections Department calculates time on remand (presentence detention) based on what it calls the judicial processing date.This is the date on which the prison receives a warrant of committment from the Court which has its own criminal record date. The Court does not allocate a criminal record number to any count on an indictment until a person is convicted. This means that where an indictment is amended and contains a new count after committal that new count only gets entered by the prison at the date when a warrant of committal comes from the court in relation to that new count. When a person is convicted or pleads guilty to that count then the remand time is calculated from that first date until the date of the conviction. The problem arises where a person has been in custody on other original charges as well. Although they might have been in custody for say 12 months on those original charges and their release date should be calculated on that basis they will only have been in custody for a short time on the new or amended charge and this will push their release date out on that charge thereby obviating the remand credit they would otherwise be entitled to. The decision of Junior Maile v Corrections decides that this method of calculaton is not legal according to the relevant statutes and that the remand credit goes back to the original proceedings start point if that is when someone was remanded in custody. I really hope this information is of help to someone as I strongly suspect that the Courts and Corrections have taken no steps to rectify this situation as it would involve a complete trawl through their computer. Neil Roberts was right.God rest his soul.

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