Procedural Unvertainty Attending the Assertion of the Political Offense Exception in Extradition Hearings

The American approach to the political offense exception to extradition is under increasing attack. Unfavorable commentary, sparked in part by the recent decision In re McMullen, has noted the confusion present in the operation of the exception. This article will trace some of the difficulties to the uncertain procedural burdens of raising and proving the exception in the judicial hearing. The current practice should be reformed to ameliorate the confusion. To this end, the United States Congress or Supreme Court must intervene to unify the procedural approaches taken by U.S. magistrates with respect to raising and proving the political offense exception.