Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » The Habeas Corpus Hearings of Joseph Smith

The Habeas Corpus Hearings of Joseph Smith

By: Ardis E. Parshall - March 13, 2014


An Original Theatrical Production and Panel Discussion

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
7:00 p.m.
Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah

Free event, but tickets are required
Reserve tickets here

Free parking at Rice-Eccles Stadium

This original production was first performed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and at the University of Chicago Law School to rave reviews. This professional production and acting ensemble from Chicago is being brought to Utah for this performance.

The production includes two parts:

The first is an original play that recounts Joseph Smith’s three uses of habeas corpus while in Nauvoo, Illinois to prevent his extradition back to Missouri. While the play involves complex legal and factual issues, it is done in a medium that makes the events approachable and provides a unique view into Joseph Smith’s interaction with the legal system.

The second part is a panel discussion with various scholars on both the historic and modern use of habeas corpus, including Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right during the Civil War to the application of the writ with Guantanamo Bay prisoners. This panel provides a broader understanding as to the court’s role in preserving individual liberties.

The event has been approved for two hours of continuing legal education with the State Bar of Utah.

Numerous dignitaries from both Illinois and Utah (legal, religious, civic, and business) are expected to be in attendance.

This event will be repeated at BYU in the Varsity Theater, perhaps on the following day, but I have no clear information about that. If it comes in, I will add that here.


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