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The clause was in the original constitution, yet:

Extradition Clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The meaning of the extradition clause was first really tested in the case of Kentucky v. Dennison [1860]. The case involved a man named Willis Lago who was wanted in Kentucky for helping a slave girl escape. He had fled to Ohio, where the governor, William Dennison, refused to extradite him back to Kentucky. In this case, the court ruled that, while it was the duty of a governor to return a fugitive to the state where the crime was committed, a governor could not be compelled through a writ of mandamus to do so.

Puerto Rico v. Branstad Main article: Puerto Rico v. Branstad

In 1987, the court reversed its decision under Dennison. The case involved an Iowan, Ronald Calder who struck a married couple near Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The husband survived but the wife, who was eight months pregnant, did not. Following the incident, Calder was charged with murder and let out on bail. While on bail, Ronald Calder fled to his home-state of Iowa. In May 1981, the Governor of Puerto Rico submitted a request to the Governor of Iowa for extradition of Ronald Calder to face murder charges. The Governor of Iowa refused the request, forcing the Governor of Puerto Rico to file a writ of mandamus in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The Court rejected it, ruling that under Kentucky v. Dennison, the Governor of Iowa was not obligated to return Calder. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed. The Supreme Court felt differently, ruling unanimously that the Federal Courts did indeed have the power to enforce a writ of mandamus and that Kentucky v. Dennison was outdated.

So it wasn't until 1987 that interstate extradition was cleared up without confusion or loopholes.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 5th, 2009 at 04:14:59 PM EST
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