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Extradition in America - Of Uniform Acts and Governmental Discretion

NCJ Number
Baylor Law Review Volume: 33 Issue: 4 Dated: (Fall 1981) Pages: 793-841
L W Abramson
Date Published
49 pages
Examined are the current extradition process under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act (UCEA) and the fundamental changes of the new Uniform Extradition and Rendition Act (UERA).
The UCEA, now adopted by 48 States, permits extradition under circumstances and through procedures not articulated in the Federal statute. The Federal statute and the Constitution place an outer limit on extradition procedures, but States are free to use more relaxed standards, such as those in the UCEA. The extradition process under the UCEA is discussed under the topics of arrest in asylum State, preparation of papers in demanding, issuance of Governor's warrant in asylum State, bail after issuance of rendition warrant, and habeas corpus hearing in asylum State. At the habeas corpus hearing, it is advisable for the petitioner to introduce all documents and allied papers, so as to compel the court to examine their legal sufficiency. A defect in the supporting papers may rebut the prima facie case established by the Governor's rendition warrant. The facial validity of each document involved in extradition is examined. The Commissioners on Uniform State Laws recently adopted the UERA, designed to replace the UCEA. It expands the role of the judiciary and fills gaps in the UCEA, as well as purporting to provide added protections for the person sought. Other cognizable issues examined in relation to extradition are mental competency, constitutional and jurisdictional issues, and bail after habeas corpus proceedings. It is noted that despite references to the extradition process as a 'summary executive proceeding,' executive and judicial discretion pervade the process under the UCEA. The UERA purports to streamline extraditions by adoption and clarification of the de facto features of the current process. In the face of arguments that the UERA threatens to preempt the traditional role of State executives, its progress through State legislatures may have difficulty. A total of 245 footnotes are provided.


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