Mary Surratt owned the boarding house where President Lincoln’s assassination was planned. Surratt and seven accused co-conspirators were tried by a military commission in May– June 1865. Surratt was sentenced to death.

She sought and obtained a writ of habeas corpus from Justice Andrew Wylie of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. President Johnson responded with a decree suspending the writ of habeas corpus and ordering immediate execution of the sentence.