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How is a writ of habeas corpus different from an appeal?

The issues on an appeal are limited to the words that occurred inside the courtroom during the trial that the court reporter typed. In other words, the legal issues for an appeal must be based on the court reporter’s record and the court clerk’s record (which consists of filed, written pleadings, such as motions, the indictment, etc.). Contrastingly, at a writ of habeas corpus hearing, things that occurred outside the courtroom can be developed as evidence Page 1 of 2from witnesses who testify at the habeas corpus hearing. Think of it as building a house on a slab. If the slab is 100 feet x 50 feet, the house cannot be built any wider or longer. However, on a writ of habeas corpus, the slab can be widened to 200 feet x 100 feet (because of the new evidence that can be brought in from witnesses, as well as other exhibits).

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