Compton v. Alabama,
214 U.S. 1 (1909)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Compton v. Alabama, 214 U.S. 1 (1909)

Compton v. Alabama

No. 175

Argued April 20, 1909

Decided May 17, 1909

214 U.S. 1


Unless the state demanding the return of an alleged fugitive from justice furnishes a copy of an indictment against the accused or an affidavit before a magistrate as provided by § 5278, Rev.Stat., the executive of the state upon whom the demand is made may decline to honor the requisition; and, in the absence of such indictment or affidavit, no authority is conferred upon him by § 5278, Rev.Stat., to issue his warrant of arrest for a crime committed in another state.

An affidavit before a notary public is sufficient under § 5278, Rev.Stat., upon which to base a demand for return of a fugitive from justice if such officer is, as he is regarded in Georgia, a magistrate under the law of the state.

Where the papers upon which the requisition for the return of an alleged fugitive from justice is based are regarded as sufficient by the executive authorities of both the states making and honoring the demand, the judiciary should not interfere on habeas corpus and discharge the prisoner upon technical grounds unless it is clear that the action plainly contravenes the law.

152 Ala. 68 affirmed.

The facts are stated in the opinion.

Page 214 U. S. 4

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