The laws require that extradition proceedings be held "within a reasonable time" some courts
have held that up to 30 days is reasonable, others have held that 10 days is reasonable. If you choose to fight extradition, then you can be held for as long as it takes to complete all of your appeals.
A fugitive from justice
has both a constitutional right and a statutory right to admission to
bail pending completion of the extradition process. The Tennessee Constitution provides “[t]hat allprisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses, when the proof is evident, or the presumption great.” Tenn. Const., art. I, § 15. “Under the foregoing constitutional provision [a prisoner] is entitled to bail as a matter of right” in all except capital cases. Wallace v.State
, 193 Tenn. 182, 245 S.W.2d 192, 193 (1952). Similarly, the Uniform Criminal
Extradition Act provides:Unless the offense with which the prisoner is charged is shown to be an offense
punishable by death or life imprisonment under the laws of the state in which it was
committed, the judge or magistrate must admit the person to bail by bond or
undertaking, with sufficient sureties, and in such sum as the judge or magistrate
deems proper, for the person’s appearance before the judge or magistrate at a time
specified in such bond or undertaking, and for the person’s surrender, to be arrested
upon the warrant of the governor of this state.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-106.
Extradition is a process whereby fugitives from justice are returned by the asylum state to the demanding state to stand trial
on pending criminal charges. See generally de la Beckwith v. Evatt
, 819 S.W.2d 453, 455 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991). The extradition process generally begins when the fugitive is arrested in the asylum state as a result of criminal charges in the demanding state. Id
Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-9-103 and 40-9-401. If the fugitive does not waive extradition, the extradition process continues and the fugitive is taken before a magistrate, where the fugitive is either committed to jail or admitted to bail. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-9-105, -106; de la Beckwith
, 819 S.W.2d at 455. Then the magistrate establishes a time in which the demanding state may arrest the fugitive. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-9-106, -108. “Upon notification by the authorities in the asylum state that the accused refuses to waive extradition, the demanding state submits formal documents requesting the governor of this state to issue a requisition [warrant] and agent’s commission.” de la Beckwith
, 819 S.W.2d at 455-56; Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-9-110, 112. If the demanding state’s request is approved, the governor issues his rendition warrant, which authorizes the arrest of the
fugitive and the delivery of the fugitive to the agents of the demanding state. Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-9-116, -118. When the fugitive is arrested on the governor’s rendition warrant, the fugitive has a right to challenge the extradition in a habeas corpus proceeding. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-119. However, the right to bail terminates upon issuance of the governor’s rendition warrant. Elliott v. Johnson
, 816 S.W.2d 332, 337 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991).
Under the express terms of the bail provision of the Extradition Act, admission to bail is only authorized during the extradition process and terminates upon the conclusion of that process when the governor’s rendition warrant is issued. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-106, -116. Similarly, the right to admission to bail terminates when the extradition process terminates through execution of a waiver. See Elliott v. Johnson
, 816 S.W.2d 332, 336 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991) (noting that bail is only available during an extradition proceeding if there is no waiver). This is the necessary result because, in the case of a fugitive who has waived extradition, there will be no subsequent “appearance before the judge or magistrate at a time specified,” there will be no occasion for the prisoner to “be arrested upon the warrant of the governor of this state,” and there will be no governor’s warrant. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-106, -116. Moreover, because of the waiver of
extradition, the fugitive does not have a right to habeas corpus review. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-119. Thus, the right to admission to bail is intrinsically linked to the invocation of the extradition process. In other words, the right to admission to bail terminates upon waiver of the extradition process. Furthermore, Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2, of the United States Constitution places an affirmative duty on the governor of the asylum state to return fugitives from justice upon proper demand of the executive authority of the demanding state. If a fugitive is out on bail after waiving extradition, the governor may be unable to meet his constitutional obligation to deliver the fugitive
when the demanding state’s agents arrive. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-9-109; see Mandina v. State
, 749 S.W.2d 472, 474 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1986) (“The enforcement of a forfeited bond would not meet the requirements placed on the executive of the asylum state”).
However, neither the constitutional right nor the statutory right extends to a fugitive from justice who has waived extradition.
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