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Man Arrested in Maine for Crime in Pennsylvania: How Extradition Works

Posted by William Bly | Aug 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Portland police arrested a man who has been accused of raping a child in Pennsylvania. He is expected to be extradited back to Pennsylvania to face trial.

Maine Police Arrest Man Wanted for Raping a Child in Pennsylvania

Police arrested the 42-year-old in Portland on August 6, 2019, after police in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania had issued an arrest warrant for him a day before.

Details of the underlying offenses are still sketchy, though Pennsylvania police have said the incidents leading to the arrest warrant had happened over several years. Whatever happened, the man is facing numerous criminal charges, including:

  • Rape of a child
  • Involuntary and deviate sexual intercourse
  • Aggravated indecent assault of a child
  • Corruption of minors.

Police in Maine will have to extradite him back to Pennsylvania to face those charges.

How Does Extradition Work?

Foreseeing the problem of suspects in state crimes fleeing for the border and into neighboring states, the U.S. Constitution, in Article IV, Section 2, requires other states to send them back to face a criminal charge and trial.

The state where the crime was committed only has to ask for the suspect's extradition. A federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 3182, provides the guidelines for how states can ask for extradition. They have to:

  • Provide an indictment or an affidavit that was made before a judge, stating that the suspect is being charged with a crime; and
  • Certify that indictment or affidavit as authentic – this has to be done by the governor's office or chief magistrate's office.

Once received, the other state decides to make an arrest and hold the suspect for at least 30 days so the first state can send agents to pick them up.

Can a State Refuse to Extradite Someone?

In the past, state governors could refuse to extradite someone for a crime that was allegedly committed in another state.

Back in 1860, in Kentucky v. Dennison, Kentucky demanded that Ohio extradite a black man who it claimed had committed the crime of helping a slave escape. Ohio refused. Kentucky took its extradition case to federal court, but the federal judge – and eventually the U.S. Supreme Court – decided that, even though Ohio had a duty to extradite the suspect, federal courts could not force Ohio to do it.

That changed in 1987 when the Supreme Court overruled Dennison with the case Puerto Rico v. Branstad. In that case, the Supreme Court said that federal courts could, in fact, force state officials and governors to uphold their obligations under the Extradition Clause of the Constitution, so long as the documents demanding extradition are complete and proper.

The only exception is when the person to be extradited is already in jail in the state that would have to give him up. In these cases, extradition only happens when the jail sentence ends.

Portland Attorneys at WTB Law Defend Against Sex Crime Allegations

The criminal defense attorneys at WTB Law in Portland legally represent people in Saco, Biddeford, and throughout southern Maine who have been accused of a sex crimeContact us online or call us at (207) 571-8146.

About the Author

William Bly

William T. Bly, Esq. is a graduate of Rutgers College where he majored in Political Science with a minor in U.S. History. Attorney Bly attended and graduated the University of Maine School of Law. During his time in law school, Attorney Bly focused on criminal defense.

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