The term extradition refers to the surrender by on sovereign to another sovereign of a person accused or convicted of a crime by the latter.

“Extradition may be sufficiently defined to be the surrender by one nation to another of an individual accused or convicted of an offense outside of its own territory, and within the territorial jurisdiction of the other, which, being competent to try and to punish him, demands the surrender.”  Terlinden v. Ames, 184 U.S. 270, 289.

The United States Constitution provides for extradition between the states.  See U.S. Const. Article IV, § 2, cl. 2 (“A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.”).

“The United States Constitution provides for rendition of prisoners between the States so that no State may become a haven for fleeing criminals. U.S. Const. art. 4, s 2.  Extradition is designed to provide a summary process to aid in the prompt administration of justice.”  Gullick v. Sampson, 118 N.H. 826, 827 (1978).

Extradition is designed to provide a summary executive process by which states may promptly aid one another in bringing to trial persons accused of crime who have sought asylum against the processes of justice. The constitutional provision for extradition is in the nature of a treaty stipulation entered into for the purpose of securing a prompt and efficient administration of the criminal laws of the states. Under this constitutional provision, extradition is not a matter of mere comity, but an absolute right of the demanding state and duty of the asylum state. Thus an asylum state does not refrain from undertaking an examination of a fugitive’s guilt merely to avoid procedural delays or complications in the rendition procedure. Rather it does so in recognition of the principle that such an inquiry ‘into the merits of the charge against the prisoner or into the motives which inspired the prosecution in the demanding State exceeds its authority under the constitutional and statutory provisions regulating the extradition of criminals. The mandate of the constitution requires ‘a person Charged in any State with a crime’ to be delivered by the asylum State to the State whose laws he has violated. That State alone can determine the guilt or innocence of the offending party.’ The summary nature of the extradition process is not founded upon mere considerations of speed and efficiency in the rendition of fugitives. It is based upon the federal Constitution and implementing statutes which recognize extradition as something more than a matter of mere comity between cooperating states.”  In re Golden, 65 Cal. App. 3d 789, 795-96 (1977).

“Article IV, § 2, cl. 2, of the United States Constitution on the subject of extradition is clear and explicit: ‘A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.’  To implement this provision of the Constitution, Congress has provided: ‘Whenever the executive authority of any State or Territory demands any person as a fugitive from justice, of the executive authority of any State, District or Territory to which such person has fled, and produces a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any State or Territory, charging the person demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the State or Territory from whence the person so charged has fled, the executive authority of the State, District or Territory to which such person has fled shall cause him to be arrested and secured, and notify the executive authority making such demand, or the agent of such authority appointed to receive the fugitive, and shall cause the fugitive to be delivered to such agent when he shall appear.’ 18 U.S.C. § 3182.  The Extradition Clause was intended to enable each state to bring offenders to trial as swiftly as possible in the state where the alleged offense was committed.  The purpose of the Clause was to preclude any state from becoming a sanctuary for fugitives from justice of another state and thus “balkanize” the administration of criminal justice among the several states. It articulated, in mandatory language, the concepts of comity and full faith and credit, found in the immediately preceding clause of Art. IV. The Extradition Clause, like the Commerce Clause, served important national objectives of a newly developing country striving to foster national unity.  In the administration of justice, no less than in trade and commerce, national unity was thought to be served by de-emphasizing state lines for certain purposes, without impinging on essential state autonomy.  Interstate extradition was intended to be a summary and mandatory executive proceeding derived from the language of Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution.  The Clause never contemplated that the asylum state was to conduct the kind of preliminary inquiry traditionally intervening between the initial arrest and trial.  Near the turn of the century this Court, after acknowledging the possibility that persons may give false information to the police or prosecutors and that a prosecuting attorney may act ‘either wantonly or ignorantly,’ concluded: ‘While courts will always endeavor to see that no such attempted wrong is successful, on the other hand, care must be taken that the process of extradition be not so burdened as to make it practically valueless. It is but one step in securing the presence of the defendant in the court in which he may be tried, and in no manner determines the question of guilt.’  Whatever the scope of discretion vested in the governor of an asylum state, the courts of an asylum state are bound by Art. IV, § 2, by § 3182, and, where adopted, by the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act. A governor’s grant of extradition is prima facie evidence that the constitutional and statutory requirements have been met.  Once the governor has granted extradition, a court considering release on habeas corpus can do no more than decide (a) whether the extradition documents on their face are in order; (b) whether the petitioner has been charged with a crime in the demanding state; (c) whether the petitioner is the person named in the request for extradition; and (d) whether the petitioner is a fugitive. These are historic facts readily verifiable.”  Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 286-89 (1978).

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