Extraditing Fugitives in America
Extradition also serves a purpose of prevention. It prevents accused criminals and law-breakers from being able to escape liability after perpetrating a crime. The process and procedures of extraditing fugitives is controlled by Federal law. Federal statutes are complimented by individual state law. For international extradition procedures, treaties have been set in place to govern its processes. A state or nation can sometimes refuse to sign-off on fugitive extradition if the criminal is wanted for acts that are not illegal in their state. Also, state will refuse to extradite someone for political crimes, or if they face execution or torture upon return.
To extradite a criminal, the American constitution requires the following legal obligations from both, the requesting executive state (the state in which they fled) and the receiving executive state:
• Requesting State Must Provide a Copy of the Indictment or Affidavit Made Before a Judge
• Indictment Documents Must Charge the Fugitive with a Crime
• Each States’ Governors (or Chief Magistrates) Must Provide Signatures for Authentication on Indictment Documents
• The Receiving Executive State Must Cause the Fugitive to Be Arrested and Detained; and then Ask the Requesting State to Collect the Fugitive
• An Agent of the Requesting Executive State Must Appear in Person to Collect and Obtain the Fugitive within 30 Days of their Arrest—Or the Fugitive Will Be Released
A person that flees their state after committing a crime does not have to be tried yet to be extraditable. They can simply be charged or suspected of a crime, but haven’t appeared in court yet. A person that has been charged and convicted, but somehow escaped custody, is also an extraditable fugitive. And criminals that have been convicted in absentia are also extraditable fugitives.