Bryant v. United StatesAnnotate this Case
167 U.S. 104 (1897)
U.S. Supreme Court
Bryant v. United States, 167 U.S. 104 (1897)
Bryant v. United States
Argued April 26, 1897
Decided May 10, 1897
167 U.S. 104
APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR
THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Ornelas v. Ruiz,161 U. S. 602, followed to the point that if in extradition proceedings the committing magistrate had jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the accused, and the offense charged is within the terms of the treaty of extradition, and the magistrate, in arriving at a decision to hold the accused, has before him competent legal evidence on which to exercise his judgment as to whether the facts are sufficient to establish the criminality of the accused for the purposes of extradition, such decision cannot be reviewed on habeas corpus.
This was an appeal from a final order of the Circuit Court for the Southern District of New York dismissing writs of habeas corpus and certiorari sued out by the appellant to obtain his release from the custody of the marshal of that district and the warden of the jail of the City and County of New York.
The proceedings were originally instituted by a complaint made before a commissioner of the circuit court, duly authorized to act in cases of extradition, by her Britannic Majesty's Consul General at the City of New York, who charged the appellant with the crimes of forgery, larceny, embezzlement, and false entries, committed in the City of London, and demanded his extradition under Article X of the Treaty of November 10, 1842, and Article I of the treaty supplemental thereto, of March 25, 1890.
The commissioner held that the evidence clearly showed that the appellant had been guilty of a crime specifically mentioned in the treaty stipulations between the two countries, and accordingly held him to await the action of the Secretary
of State and the final warrant of delivery. Appellant thereupon sued out from the circuit court writs of habeas corpus and certiorari, but that court, holding that there was legal evidence upon which the commissioner could properly exercise his judgment as to the guilt or innocence of the accused, dismissed the writs and remanded the prisoner to the custody of the Marshal for the Southern District of New York. From that order petitioner appealed to this Court.
MR. JUSTICE BROWN, after stating the facts in the foregoing language, delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question before the commissioner in this case was whether, in the language of the treaty of 1842, Article X, 8 Stat. 572, 576, there was
"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 apprehension and commitment for trial if the crime or offense had been there committed."
In other words, whether, according to our laws, there was probable cause to believe him guilty of the crimes charged. Rev.Stat. § 5270; Benson v. McMahon,127 U. S. 457, 127 U. S. 462. The question before us is even narrower than that -- viz., whether there was any legal evidence at all upon which the commissioner could decide that there was evidence sufficient to justify his commitment for extradition, or, as stated in Ornelas v. Ruiz,161 U. S. 502, 161 U. S. 508,
"if the committing magistrate has jurisdiction of the subject matter and of the accused, and the offense charged is within the terms of the treaty of extradition, and the magistrate, in arriving at a decision to hold the accused, has before him competent legal evidence on which to exercise his judgment as to whether the facts are sufficient to establish the criminality of the accused for the purpose of extradition, such decision cannot be reviewed on habeas corpus."
See also In re Oteiza,136 U. S. 330.
The evidence before the commissioner tended to show that Bryant was employed by the firm of Morrison & Marshall, of London, as bookkeeper and assistant cashier from January to October, 1896 at a salary of
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