Why would one waive extradition?

The tragic case of the girl whose parents were shot (allegedly) by her boyfriend got me to wonder: What does it benefit the accused to waive extradition? It seems unlikely to me that Pennsylvania will go easier on him because of the waiver. Assuming that he has a public defender in Indiana, it wouldn’t cost him anything (monetarily anyway) to fight extradition. Why do people in these situations waive?

Extradition is, in 99.9% of cases, automatic. (There are some rare exceptions that’ll let one of the crim law guys explain, as they can do it better than I can.)
So what’s the point of fighting it? It just adds to the overall time you spend in jail.

Being farther from the location of the crime gives you better chances with a jury. No cite, but there have been studies on this, my business law professor cited them a few years ago.

Perhaps because one is innocent and confident of being able to prove it?

I’m not sure I follow you groman. “Being farther” at what point? How would waiving extradition help?

I believe the argument goes like this.

You commit a crime in point A.
You get caught in point B, in another state.
The farther your jury trial is from point A geographically the more likely you are to get acquited, to a point. So if you can fight extradiction from point B back to point A, you can have a trial at point B instead.

Now that I think about it, I’d love to see a study on this, I’ll look around when I get home. It makes sense using common sense though, i.e. the location of the crime will certainly play a part in the trial. The witnesses will have to travel, the jury will think of the location as far away and remote, less close to heart, all sorts of factors.

While I can see the advantage in being distanced from a locale where emotional reaction to the crime is high (which sometimes figures into change of venue), nothing else you say makes sense to me. The whole point of extradition is that the crime was committed in jurisdiction A, and therefore cannot be tried in jurisdiction B.

I am not a lawyer (and for all I know you might be) but the way I understand it is that extradition is a question of most favourable locale for a trial. Basically if you commit a crime in say the US and flee to Canada, it’s not that you cannot be tried in canada for your crime, it’s that it’s a lot easier to try you in the US and it seems “more fair” that way for everybody. Same thing with interstate, I believe, where it’s not that he won’t go on trial for murder if he beats his extradition, it’s that he will go on trial for murder far away from the original location (reaping the benefits thereof).

Sorry. You can’t be tried in B for a crime committed in A unless you can show that you couldn’t bet a fair trial in A. And our many lawyers can answer whether or not you can be tried in one state for a crime committed in another under any circumstances. I’m fairly sure that if a crime is commited in a state and you do get a change of venue, the new location is still in the same state. How can one state enforce the laws of another?

Which I believe is the entire point of fighting extradition.

As for locales, I know Mexico will not extradite anybody facing the death penalty. I don’t know if it ever comes up, but I would imagine they won’t just let you go and live in Mexico freely, but try you and give you life in prison in Mexico.

IANAL, but if you were to commit a murder in, say, Minnesota (where I don’t think they have the death penalty), but were captured in Texas or Florida, I could see the point of waiving extradiction.

Sort of in reverse, 1957-58 spree killer Charles Starkweather waived extradiction back to Nebraska from Wyoming because Wyoming executed by gas chamber (vice Nebraska’s electric chair) and Charlie “hate(d) the smell of gas”. Oh for the days when crooks took their damn medicine.

You’re not making any sense. Read Gary’s response again.

Apparently, you have this idea that if a person arrested in state B for a crime in state A refuses to waive an extradition hearing, he’s tried for the crime in state B.
No. All it means is that the arrested person sits in jail in state B until there is an extradition hearing in state B. Barring something amazing, the arrested person will be extradited to state A after the hearing, where he will be tried.

It is not possible for state B to try a defendant for a crime committed in state A. State B has no jurisdiction. One of the elements a prosecutor has to prove is that the crime took place in his jurisdiction.

The product of your imagination is not a valid basis for a GQ post.

I have this idea that if a person arrested in state B for a crime in state A refuses to waive an extradition hearing they get an extradition hearing. If they win (prove, for example, that they can’t get a fair trial in state A), they will not be extradited, if they lose they will be.

Now, honestly I don’t know what happens if you win an extradition hearing. I suppose you’re not extradited, so you have to be tried locally or let go. I’m guessing it’s “tried locally”.

Note: I’m focusing on state-to-state extradition here, as that was the circumstance raised by the OP. Foreign state extradition is a matter of treaty, and not relevant to the question posed.

Your guess is wrong. Go away and play in IMHO.

He has to be tried for the murder in the jurisdiction where it happened. If he doesn’t waive extradition, he will probably be extradicted ,anyway. Just after a few weeks of hearing and other assorted paperwork instead of right away. The benefit to fighting extradition is that if you win, State B, where you are physically in custody, will not turn you over to State A. State A will have to find you again in a jurisdiction which will turn you over.

No. No. No. First of all, in this case, the extradition is from Indiana to Pennsylvania. http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=nation_world&id=3633160 Interstateextradition is tough to beat. Basically, it’s a formality. Second, Pennsylvania has prescriptive jurisdiction over acts committed there. That means that Pennsylvania law was broken. Pennsylvania has the authority to enforce Pennsylvania criminal law–Indiana doesn’t. If he were somehow able to defeat extradition, Indian could not try him for the Pennsylvania murder. Indiana could prosecute him for violations of Indiana law, though.

Here is the Indiana extradition statute’s requirement:


There are two types of extradition: between states in the United States, and between countries.

There are circumstances in which fighting international extradition may make sense.

This is, I think, what groman is picturing.

However, the OP asks about interstate extradition, which does not have anything to do with where one is ultimately tried. Interstate extradition is largely automatic; the only thing the state seeking the prisoner must show is the governor’s certification that the prisoner is under indictment or is a fugitive from justice.

Sometimes fighting exradition will force the prosecution to expose some part of their case, since the fugitive declaration must be based on some set of facts. It would be very unusual, however, since it’s very seldom that this particular aspect of the prosecutor’s case is unclear.

Ok, I looked it up:

According to this , in cases of international extradition, the procedure of what to do in case the subject is non-extraditable is not specified.

And according to a bunch of state extradition laws I just read, basically if you win you go free in that state, unless the locals find something to charge you with.