Extradition practices internationally, however, take on a much different and far more complicated form. Extradition between the United States and other counties only occurs when an extradition treaty has been signed between the two entities. In fact, US law reinforces this idea providing that extradition between the United States and another country will occur if, and only if, there is a treaty concerning extradition. The United States has extradition treaties with over 100 countries. Further, extradition also works in the opposite way. The United States can surrender a person within the borders to be brought to another country for criminal proceedings. While many countries refuse to extradite their own citizens no matter the crime charged, the United States refuses to take that approach. Often times, even in instances where the country involved would not extradite one of their own citizens, the United States will still send a citizen to face prosecution.
In addition, many extradition treaties contain parts that make extradition difficult, if not impossible in many cases. For example, the language of an extradition treaty must include the offense for which the return of the individual is sought. If the extradition treaty doesn’t contain that particular offense, extradition generally will not be carried out. In addition, many countries refuse to extradite individuals if the offense the defendant is being charged with is punishable by death, because of the human rights issues presented For example, in the United State’s extradition treaty with the United Kingdom, revised and signed n 2007, provides that when the offense charged is punishable by death under the law of the requesting state, the country can refuse extradition unless the requesting state can guarantee that the death penalty will not be imposed. Many extradition treaties contain even more complicated language and provisions, meaning each extradition case is unique to the country with which the treaty is signed.
EXTRADITION, Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), extradition.
USCS Const. Art. IV, § 2, Cl 2.
18 USCS § 3182.
96 L. Ed. 2d 750.
18 USCS § 3181.
Sean D. Murphy, Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law: New U.S./EU and U.S./U.K. Extradition Treaties, 98 A.J.I.L. 848.
2-5F United States Supreme Court Cases and Comments P 5F.03.
John Dugard & Christine Van den Wyngaert, RECONCILING EXTRADITION WITH HUMAN RIGHTS, 92 A.J.I.L. 187.