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Pursuing your right to freedom

California Habeas Handbook 2.0 (CHH 2.0) available for purchase.

Habeas Corpus should not leave you feeling left in the dark.

The late Kent Russell specialized in representing prisoners on Habeas Corpus matters and was widely recognized as California’s leading expert on habeas corpus, on both state and federal levels. Mr. Russel worked closely with his associate Jason T. Campbell, who has since taken over his practice. Kent was the author of the California Habeas Handbook 2.0 (CHH 2.0), which supersedes the earlier numbered editions. CHH 2.0 was the first handbook and was issued in 2016. Minor updates to the handbook have followed since its initial publication, the most recent version being “CHH 2.0”, which is available for purchase.

Law books, a gavel, and handcuffs.

About the Habeas Handbook 2.0

The California Habeas Handbook explains to prisoners and their families, in plain English, exactly how habeas corpus works in theory and in practice. The Handbook covers both state and federal habeas corpus from beginning to end.

Jason Campbell Attorney

Meet Jason Campbell

For more than a decade, Jason Campbell has represented defendants at every stage of the criminal justice process, in both state and federal courts. Since 2013, Mr. Campbell has worked with the late Kent Russell to represent those individuals who are in the most perilous situations.

Man walking alone in the sunsets

Habeas Hints Blog

Providing “Habeas Hints” to prisoners who are considering or handling habeas corpus petitioners as their own attorneys (“in pro per”); and also to lawyers new to habeas corpus law.

“...there is help for prisoners. For over 20 years, attorney and habeas corpus expert Kent A. Russell has published the California Habeas Handbook (“CHH”). The accessible, authoritative and (in some cases, literally) lifesaving CHH has provided prisoners in California and beyond everything they need to navigate the minefield of habeas corpus litigation.”

Christopher Zoukispublished in Criminal Legal News, June, 2018
California Habeas Handbook 2.0

Brand new Edition 2.0


California Habeas Handbook 2.0

CA Prisoner Discount Price


* Prisoner Discount Price only available to prisoners, must be personally paid for by the prisoner with a state-issued check at time of purchase. Mail Order Only.

To order the California Habeas Handbook via mail by cash, check, or money order:

  1. Download or copy the following form: Buy Habeas Handbook PDF
  2. Check item(s) you wish to purchase.
  3. Prepare a check or money order for the amount due.
  4. Send completed Order Form and your form of payment to the address below:


Jason T. Campbell
“CHH 2.0”
300 Montgomery Street, Suite 660
San Francisco, CA 94104-1908

Kent Russell (1947 – 2020)

For more than four decades, Kent Russell dedicated himself to the practice of law. And though, as a young attorney, he primarily practiced civil law, it was in the area of criminal defense that Kent found his real calling. As a trial attorney, Kent worked tirelessly for his clients, obtaining acquittals and other favorable results. In the late 1970s, his successful representation of Sonny Barger, a founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, established Kent’s reputation as a prominent member of the Bay Area criminal defense bar and was a victory that he remained proud of throughout his career.

Kent spent the last period of his life fighting on behalf of prisoners seeking to challenge their wrongful convictions. In doing so, he carved out a niche in the area of habeas corpus law, establishing himself as one of the preeminent practitioners in the field. His dedication to his work never faltered. Throughout the duration of the years-long struggle with cancer, he remained relentless in his pursuit for justice on behalf of his clients, actively participating in their representation until just days before his death.

Read Full Bio

Kent’s passion for the work was matched by his honesty with his clients and the integrity with which he conducted himself. Understanding the extreme difficulty of attaining habeas corpus relief, Kent spoke candidly with his clients, exhibiting confidence in his work but never misleading his them about their cases. In his pleadings and appearances before the courts, Kent was always ethical but never afraid to challenge judges and lawyers that refused to conscientiously confront the reality of wrongful convictions.

Because there is no right to counsel on habeas corpus review, it can be extremely difficult, as a practical matter, for inmates and attorneys to prepare and present a thoroughly investigated, meticulously researched, and well-written petition for habeas corpus within the necessary timeframe. Recognizing that he could not represent every deserving inmate who sought his assistance, Kent set out to demystify the process by writing essays and articles for various blogs and inmate publications and through the publication of his California Habeas Handbook. With the Handbook, Kent provided countless inmates and lawyers with the information necessary to identify and present their grounds for habeas relief to California and federal courts. As a result of the wide proliferation of the book in state prisons, there are many knowledgeable prisoners who now undoubtedly have a better understanding of the habeas process than some practicing criminal defense lawyers.

Kent took great pride in the work he did supporting prisoners, and it is the work for which he will long be remembered. To that end, Kent asked his colleague and long-time collaborator Jason Campbell to continue the firm’s important mission. Through his ongoing work with the firm, as well as the revision and publication of the California Habeas Handbook, Jason will endeavor to maintain Kent’s legacy.

Kent Russell attorney headshot.