Arrest and Detention of Accused

According to the federal constitution, a state has the power to arrest and detain a fugitive[i].  Thus a state can arrest a fugitive within its borders for a crime that is committed in another state even if s/he is a citizen of another state.  The manner of making arrest is left to the discretion of the state that conducts the arrest.  An arrested fugitive can be detained until a state’s demanding authority demands his/her return[ii].

Accordingly, a fugitive can be arrested irrespective of the statutory provisions and official demand from a state in which a crime is committed.  On executing an arrest, a state executive authority from whose jurisdiction a fugitive has fled must be given a reasonable time to initiate extradition proceedings.

The arrest and detention of a fugitive are made according to the provisions laid down in the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act and the Uniform Extradition and Rendition Act.  Arrest can be made either on the basis of a warrant issued by a magistrate or without a warrant on the basis of evidence that is produced by an officer or a private person.  Immediately after arrest, a fugitive must be taken before a magistrate.  Here, an accused will be given an opportunity of hearing about the validity of arrest.  Upon examination, if the court is of the opinion that the fugitive has committed a crime, then the court will detain the fugitive for 30 days. A fugitive arrested beyond a governor’s warrant will be discharged or recommitted to prison for an additional period of 60 days or s/he may be readmitted to bail[iii].

However, a detaining court has no power to restrain an accused until a governor’s warrant is received. Once the statutory period is over, an accused must be released[iv].

An order terminating extradition proceedings issued by a demanding state will not invalidate an arrest that is already made in an asylum state[v].  In some states, bail bondsmen can arrest a fugitive[vi].

[i] State v. Martin, 252 N.W.2d 438 (Iowa 1977).

[ii] McFarlin v. Shirley, 209 Ga. 794 (Ga. 1953).

[iii] State v. Phillips, 587 N.W.2d 29 (Minn. 1998).

[iv] State v. Jones, 167 Vt. 615 (Vt. 1998).

[v] People v. Thompson, 793 P.2d 1173 (Colo. 1990).

[vi] Weaver v. James Bonding Co., 442 F. Supp. 2d 1219 (S.D. Ala. 2006).


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