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Extradition, as a legal term, refers to the laws and treaties whereby an individual is transferred from one sovereign nation to another for criminal prosecution. Individuals who are transferred within a nation: Such as a California resident, who is extradited to Florida for a criminal prosecution, fall under the intra-state compact where each state, under the United States Constitution, and by compact, agrees to respect the requesting state's warrant and will hold a criminal suspect for transport. Extradition is also concerned with transferring individuals within a state: such as when Miami issues a warrant for an individual who resides in Palm Beach County. In-custody transfers within a State are handled by the respective Sheriff's Office, or Police Department. By illustration: if Broward County (Fort Lauderdale is in Broward County) files a criminal case and the accused is being held in Palm Beach County Jail by the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, the two respective Sheriff's offices will "extradite" or "transfer" a defendant to the requesting jurisdiction.

The intrastate compact is an effective treaty between states within the United States of America whereby they hold an individual and request instruction from the "requesting" jurisdiction. By the intrastate compact an individual be held for 60 days pending an inquiry from the requesting jurisdiction: for example, if someone is being held in New York for a warrant out of South Florida. If Florida wants to prosecute individual then Florida will pay for the transportation: this is done by issuance of a document called a governors warrant. If the governor's warrant is not issued within 60 days then the holding jurisdiction will release individual and he will be free to go. That's not the end of the criminal case however because the warrant is still active and will remain so until the individual is returned, either by force or voluntarily, to face the charges in the originating jurisdiction.

Extradition between nations is a matter for treaty resolution. Not all sovereign nations have extradition treaties between and among each other for the return of criminal suspects. The area of law concerning extradition among nations is complex and evolving. For example at the time of the writing of this article the following nations, China, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and North Korea do not have functioning extradition procedures with United States of America. Other nations, such as Brazil as a matter of policy do not surrender their citizens for extradition or removal to the United States to face criminal charges. Panama as another nation that does not surrender their citizens for removal today, These treaties are sometimes ignored by sovereign nations, for example, Manuel Noriega, who was the president of Panama, was removed by US military personnel in a tactical military action whereby U.S. Marines entered the sovereign nation of Panama and removed Mr. Noriega to Miami for prosecution. There are many extradition agreements between the United States and nations in the European Union, which will release an individual for removal on the showing of a prima facie case for criminality. Many nations that do not have capital punishment will not release any an individual for removal, extradition, today if they face a death. When an individual state, such as Florida, requests extradition of an individual from a foreign nation, the matter is handled through the United States Department of State. By example, if Bob Jones has been indicted in Miami for drug trafficking and he resides in France, the prosecutor's office in Miami will make a request of the United States Department of State for the U.S. government to formally request extradition of the individual from France.

Beginning with 2011 the United States has begun a process called extraordinary rendition proceedings. By this method an individual can be detained and held for questioning and interrogation in another nation. Many people consider the extraordinary rendition program to be nothing short of kidnapping by one nation of a politically unpopular or inconvenient individual who is then subject to incarceration, interrogation, and possibly torture.

Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

Other areas of jurisdiction for extradition may concern a territory or a protectorate which is a legal creature of the nation which maintains jurisdiction. For example, the island of Puerto Rico is a U.S. Federal Territory. If Puerto Rico seeks to extradite an individual for a prosecution for a drug trafficking or heroin trafficking charge, it may initially refer to the intrastate compact to extradite individual from another state within the United States. The United Nations maintains an inventory and list of all the international treaties concerning removal and extradition procedures.

Matters of asylum are also dealt with under the general subject of extraterritorial jurisdiction or extradition in general. An individual who was granted political asylum is in a different status than a natural citizen who was subject to extradition to another nation. Extradition law is both complex and compound. If you have an issue or questions concerning extradition of an individual from one sovereign nation to another nation it is best to consult a lawyer or law firm that deals in these matters on a regular basis.

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