This section is from "The American Cyclopaedia", by George Ripley And Charles A. Dana. Also available from Amazon: The New American Cyclopędia. 16 volumes complete..
Extradition, the delivering up of fugitives from justice by the authorities of one country or state to those of another. This subject may be considered under two heads, as it relates to the surrender of offenders to each other by the several states of the American Union, or to the like mutual surrender between sovereign nations. I. Between THE States of the Union. This is provided for by the constitution, art.
IV. § 2 of which declares that a person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the same. An act was passed by congress in 1793 to carry this provision into effect, and to establish the like regula-tion for the territories; and the several states have also statutes on the same subject. The general course under these statutes is the following: The accused is either indicted in the state where the crime is alleged to have been committed, or he is charged with the offence before a magistrate, who, after examining into the case, and being satisfied by evidence that the charge is well founded, issues his warrant for the arrest. A copy of the indictment or warrant is then presented to the executive of that state, who will give a formal requisition upon the executive of the state to which the accused has lied for his surrender.
The executive upon whom the requisition is made, if the papers appear to be regular and sufficient, issues his warrant in compliance, directed to an officer or to the agent of the state making the requisition, which will be authority for the apprehension and removal of the accused. Some statutes authorize the supposed fugitive to be first complained of, examined, and committed where he is found, to await a requisition from the proper executive. It is settled under the constitutional provision cited above that persons are liable to extradition under it who having committed offences in one state are found afterward in another, whether their going to such other state was for the purpose of avoiding punishment or not; but it is also settled that one cannot be extradited to a state where he is not alleged to have been when the crime was committed. Thus, when Smith, the Mormon prophet, was charged with having in Illinois been accessory to the attempt upon the life of Gov. Bogy in Missouri, it was decided that he could not be regarded as a fugitive, and consequently could not be surrendered. The most important controversy under this provision has been as to the offences covered by it.
It has been sometimes insisted that only those acts were to be considered crimes within its intent which were such at the common law, or at least which were punishable as crimes in the state upon which the demand was made; and cases occurred in which governors in the free states refused to surrender persons who were accused in the slave states of offences against the slave code. The last of these cases arose in 1859-'60, when a demand was made upon the governor of Ohio by the governor of Kentucky for the surrender of one Lago, who was accused of the crime of seducing a slave to escape from her master. The demand was refused, on the ground that the act was not an offence known to the laws of Ohio. Application was then made to the supreme court of the United States for a mandamus to compel a surrender; but that court, while declaring its opinion that the words "treason, felony, or other crime,11 as employed in the constitution, include every offence forbidden and made punishable by the laws of the state where the offence was committed, at the same time decided that the court had no power to compel the performance of executive duties by the governor of a state.
Since the abolition of slavery, no similar controversy is likely to arise.