Benson v. McMahon

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Court Documents

United States Supreme Court

127 U.S. 457

Benson  v.  McMahon

Peter Mitchell, for appellant.

S. Mallet Prevost and De Lancey Nicoll, for appellee.


This is an appeal from a judgment of the circuit court of the United States for the Southern district of New York upon a writ of habeas corpus, in which that court remanded the prisoner to the custody of the marshal of the district. The proceedings were originally instituted by a complaint made before Samuel H. Lyman, a United States commissioner for the circuit court of that district, by one Juan N. Navarro, consul general of the republic of Mexico at the city of New York, against George Benson, whom he charged with being guilty of the crime of forgery, committed in Mexico, and therefore liable to extradition under the treaty of December 11, 1861, between the United States and Mexico, to be there tried for that offense. The case was heard quite elaborately before Commissioner Lyman, who rendered the following judgment: 'After a full and fair examination of the law and the facts in the case, I find that the evidence produced against the said Benson is sufficient in law to justify his commitment for the crime of forgery for the purpose of being delivered up as a fugitive from justice to the republic of Mexico, pursuant to the provisions of the said treaty. Wherefore I have committed the said Benson, pursuant to the provisions of said treaty, to the custody of the United States marshal, to be by him held in the proper jail until a warrant for the surrender of the said Benson shall issue according to the stipulation of the said treaty, or he shall be otherwise dealt with according to law.' A writ of habeas corpus was thereupon allowed by Justice BLATCHFORD, of the supreme court of the United States, directed to Martin T. McMahon, the marshal in whose custody the prisoner, Benson, was held by order of the commissioner, requiring him to produce said prisoner before the circuit court of the United States for that district on February 21, 1888, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon; and also a writ of certiorari to Commissioner Lyman, directing him to return at the same time the 'cause of imprisonment of George Benson, and true copies of the proceedings, complaints, warrants, depositions, trials, examinations, determinations, commitments, and record' had before him. To this the marshal made return that he held the prisoner by virtue of a commitment of Commissioner Lyman, and the commissioner returned into the court a transcript of all the proceedings had before him, including the testimony and exhibits. Upon the hearing in the circuit court it was 'ordered, that the writ of habeas corpus be, and the same is, hereby discharged; that the petitioner remain in the custody of the marshal of the United States for the Southern district of New York, pending such application on appeal as petitioner may be advised to make to a justice of the supreme court of the United States, pursuant to the thirty-fourth rule of that court; or until the further order of this court, upon notice by said complainant after twenty days from the date of this order.' Thereupon the petitioner, George Benson, obtained the allowance of an appeal from this judgment of the circuit court to this court, by Mr. Justice BLATCHFORD. The matter has been argued very fully before us by counsel for the prisoner and for the Mexican government.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).