Matter of Strauss
197 U.S. 324 (1905)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Matter of Strauss, 197 U.S. 324 (1905)

Matter of Strauss

No. 186

Argued March 1, 1905

Decided April 3, 1905

197 U.S. 324

Syllabus

Words in the Constitution of the United States do not ordinarily receive a narrow and contracted meaning, but are presumed to have been used in a broad sense with a view of covering all contingencies.

The word "charged" in Art. IV, § 2, Subd. 2, was used in its broad signification to cover any proceeding which a state might see fit to adopt for a formal accusation against an alleged criminal.

Extradition, or rendition, is but one step in securing the presence of the accused in the court in which he may be tried, and in no manner determines the question of guilt, and while courts will always endeavor to prevent any wrong in the extradition of a person to answer a charge of crime ignorantly or wantonly made, the possibility cannot always be guarded against, and the process of extradition must not be so burdened as to make it practically valueless.

The extradition of an alleged fugitive from justice against whom a charge of the crime of securing property by false pretences has been made and is pending before a justice of the peace of Ohio, having jurisdiction conferred upon him by the laws of that state to examine and bind over for trial in a superior court, is authorized by Art. IV, 2, Subd. 2 of the Constitution of the United States, and § 5278, Rev.Stat.

The petitioner was charged by affidavit before a justice of the peace of Youngstown Township, Ohio, with the crime of obtaining $400 worth of jewelry at Youngstown, Ohio, by false pretenses, contrary to the law of that state. He was arrested as a fugitive from justice and brought before a magistrate of the City of New York, August 11, 1902. The Governor of New York, after a hearing at which the accused was represented by counsel, issued his warrant, dated August 22, 1902, directed to the Police Commissioner of New York City, directing him to arrest the accused and deliver him to the duly accredited agent of Ohio, to be taken to that state.

The warrant recites that it has been represented by the

Page 197 U. S. 325

Governor of Ohio that the accused stands charged in that State of the crime of securing property by false pretenses, which is a crime under its law, and that he has fled from that state. It also recites that the requisition was accompanied by affidavits and other papers, duly certified by the Governor of Ohio to be authentic, charging the accused with having committed the said crime, and with having fled from Ohio and taken refuge in the State of New York.

On the August 29, after the arrest of the petitioner, a writ of habeas corpus was allowed by the district court. The police commissioner made return that he held the accused by virtue of the governor's warrant. On September 16, 1902, the district court discharged the writ and remanded the accused to the custody of the police commissioner. This order was taken on appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit, which certified the following questions:

"First. Whether the delivery up of an alleged fugitive from justice against whom a complaint for the crime of securing property by false pretenses has been sworn to and is pending before a justice of the peace of Ohio, having the jurisdiction conferred upon him by the laws of that state, is authorized in view of the provisions of Article IV, section 2, subd. 2, of the Constitution?"

"Second. Is section 5278 of the Revised Statutes, in as far as it authorizes the delivery up of an alleged fugitive from justice upon an affidavit of complaint pending before a justice of the peace in Ohio for the crime of securing property by false pretenses, which said justice of the peace has the jurisdiction conferred upon him by the laws of the said state, violative of Article IV, section 2, subd. 2, of the Constitution?"

Article IV, section 2, subd. 2, of the Constitution reads:

"A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice and be found in another state, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. "

Page 197 U. S. 326

Revised Statutes, sec. 5278, so far as is material, is:

"Whenever the executive authority of any state or territory demands any person as a fugitive from justice, of the executive authority of any state or territory to which such person has fled, and produces a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any state or territory, charging the person demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the state or territory from whence the person so charged has fled, it shall be the duty of the executive authority of the state or territory to which such person has fled to cause him to be arrested and secured, and to cause notice of the arrest to be given to the executive authority making such demand, or to the agent of such authority appointed to receive the fugitive, and to cause the fugitive to be delivered to such agent when he shall appear. "

Page 197 U. S. 329

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