Extradition is the surrender by one state or nation to another of an individual accused of a criminal offense. The average case of extradition in the United States arises between various states. The right of a foreign power to demand extradition exists only when that right is given by treaty. [n the absence of a treaty, the United States will not surrender a fugitive criminal to a foreign government.
The right of extradition between states is controlled by article [V, section 2, of the U.S. Constitution, which provides “that 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.”
What Does Extradition Do?
The responsibility for demanding extradition of a person charged with a crime and the duty to deliver up such a person on proper command are vested in the governors Of the states involved. Generally, a person may be extradited only when he is a “fugitive from justice,” who has charged with a crime in one state and has left that state and is found in another state. Many court decisions have involved the question of whether a person was knowingly running away from a crime. The courts have held that when a person leaves the state where he is charged with a crime, it is immaterial what his purpose or motive is for leaving the state; he will usually be considered a fugitive and will be returned to the state where he is charged with the crime.
In seeking the return of a fugitive from justice, the governor of the prosecuting state sends a requisition to the governor of the asylum state requesting that the fugitive be delivered up. The requisition must be accompanied by a copy of papers charging the person with a crime. For example. when the alleged fugitive has been indicted. there must be a copy of the grand jury’s indictment or a copy of the magistrate’s warrant seeking the arrest of the alleged criminal. Proceedings are held before the governor Of the state to which the alleged criminal has fled. Before sending the accused person back to the state seeking his extradition, the governor must first determine that the person demanded has been legally charged with a crime and is a fugitive from justice.