Charlton v. Kelly

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United States Supreme Court

229 U.S. 447


 Argued: April 18, 1913. --- Decided: June 10, 1913

This is an appeal from a judgment dismissing a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, and remanding the petitioner to custody under a warrant for his extradition as a fugitive from the justice of the Kingdom of Italy.

The proceedings for the extradition of the appellant were begun upon a complaint duly made by the Italian vice-consul, charging him wiht the commission of a murder in Italy. A warrant was duly issued by the Hon. John A. Blair, one of the judges of New Jersey, qualified to sit as a committing magistrate in such a proceeding, under § 5270, Revised Statutes (U.S.C.omp. Stat. 1901, p. 3591). At the hearing, evidence was produced which satisfied Judge Blair that the appellant was a fugitive from justice, and that he was the person whose return to Italy was desired, and that there was probable cause for holding him for trial upon the charge of murder, committed there. He thereupon committed the appellant, to be held until surrendered under a warrant to be issued by the Secretary of State. A transcript of the evidence and of the findings was duly certified as required by § 5270, Revised Statutes, and a warrant in due form for his surrender was issued by the Secretary of State. Its execution has, up to this time been prevented by the habeas corpus proceedings in the court below and the pendency of this appeal.

The procedure in an extradition proceeding is that found in the treaty under which the extradition is demanded, and the legislation by Congress in aid thereof. Thus, article 1 of the treaty with Italy of 1868 [15 Stat. at L. 629] (vol. 1, Treaties, Conventions, etc., of the United States, 1910, p. 966), reads as follows:

'The government of the United States and the government of Italy mutually agree to deliver up persons who, having been convicted of or charged with the crimes specified in the following article, committed within the jurisdiction of one of the contracting parties, shall seek an asylum or be found within the territories of the other; Provided, that this shall only be done upon such evidence of criminality as, according to the laws of the place where the fugitive or person so charged shall be found, would justify his or her apprehension and commitment for trial, if the crime had been there committed.'

One of the crimes specified in the section following is murder.

By article 5 it is provided that:

When, however, the fugitive shall have been merely charged with crime, a duly authenticated copy of the warrant for his arrest in the country where the crime may have been committed, or of the depositions upon which such warrant may have been issued, must accompany the requisition as aforesaid. The President of the United States, or the proper executive authority in Italy, may then issue a warrant for the apprehension of the fugitive, in order that he may be brought before the proper judicial authority for examination. If it should then be decided that, according to law and the evidence, the extradition is due pursuant to the treaty, the fugitive may be given up according to the forms prescribed in such cases.'

That article was amended by the additional treaty of 1884 (vol. 1, Treaties and Conventions, p. 985) by a clause added in these words:

'Any competent judicial magistrate of either of the two countries shall be authorized, after the exhibition of a certificate signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs [of Italy] or the Secretary of State [of the United States], attesting that a requisition has been made by the government of the other country to secure the preliminary arrest of a person condemned for or charged with having therein committed a crime for which, pursuant to this convention, extradition may be granted, and on complaint duly made under oath by a person cognizant of the fact, or by a diplomatic or consular officer of the demanding government, being duly authorized by the latter, and attesting that the aforesaid crime was thus perpetrated, to issue a warrant for the arrest of the person thus inculpated, to the end that he or she may be brought before the said magistrate, so that the evidence of his or her criminality may be heard and considered; and the person thus accused and imprisoned shall from time to time be remanded to prison until a formal demand for his or her extradition shall be made and supported by evidence, as above provided; if, however, the requisition, together with the documents above provided for, shall not be made, as required, by the diplomatic representative of the demanding government, or, in his absence, by a consular officer thereof, within forty days from the date of the arrest of the accused, the prisoner shall be set at liberty.' [24 Stat. at L. 1002.]

Messrs. R. Floyd Clarke and William D. Edwards for appellant.

[Argument of Counsel from pages 451-456 intentionally omitted]

Mr. Pierre P. Garven for appellees.

Statement by Mr. Justice Lurton:

Mr. Justice Lurton, after making the foregoing statement, delivered the opinion of the court:


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).