Extradition Law at the Crossroads: The Trend Toward Extending Greater Constitutional Procedural Protections to Fugitives Fighting Extradition from the United States

Part I of this article will describe the historical evolution of U.S. extradition law as a field parallel to, but separate from, domestic criminal procedure. Part II of this article describes the Parretti case and the Ninth Circuit’s holding that the federal extradition statutory scheme of Title 18, United States Code, Section 3184, violates the Fourth Amendment to the extent that it authorizes the issuance of a provisional arrest warrant by a court without a prior evidentiary showing of probable cause to believe that the fugitive committed the crime charged abroad. Part III explores some of the implications and effects of Parretti and the other recent cases questioning the constitutionality of provisional arrests and detentions, including the ways in which these decisions have already made the extradition process more difficult for the government. Finally, Part IV of the article shows that those courts that have questioned the constitutionality of provisional arrest warrants and the presumption against bail have relied on several critical assumptions in arriving at their decisions.