Drew v. Thaw
Annotate this Case
235 U.S. 432 (1914)
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U.S. Supreme Court
Drew v. Thaw, 235 U.S. 432 (1914)
Drew v. Thaw
Argued December 11, 1914
Decided December 21, 1914
235 U.S. 432
A state may enact that a conspiracy to accomplish what an individual is free to do shall be a crime.
The New York Penal Law, § 580, 583, making an agreement to commit any act for the perversion of justice or the due administration of the laws a misdemeanor if an overt act is committed, may include the withdrawal by connivance of a person from an insane asylum to which he had duly been committed by order of court as a lunatic.
A party to a crime who afterwards leaves the state is a fugitive from justice; and, for purposes of interstate rendition, it does not matter what motive induced the departure.
The purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is not to substitute the judgment of another tribunal upon the facts or the law of the matter to be tried.
The federal Constitution peremptorily requires that, upon proper demand, the person charged with crime shall be delivered up to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. There is no discretion allowed, nor any inquiry into motives; nothing is said in regard to habeas corpus, and the technical sufficiency of the indictment is not open.
Questions as to the sufficiency of an indictment charging an admittedly insane person with having committed a crime are for the courts of the state having jurisdiction of the crime to determine according to the law of that state. They cannot be determined by the courts of another state on habeas corpus proceedings in interstate rendition.
The constitutionally required surrender of an identified fugitive from justice on a demand made in due form is not to be interfered with by the summary process of habeas corpus upon speculation as to what ought to be the result of a trial in the place where the Constitution provides for its taking place.
The facts, which involve questions arising out of a demand made by the governor of one state upon the
Governor of another state for the rendition of a fugitive from justice who had been indicted by the demanding state for conspiracy to effect his own escape from the state asylum to which he had been committed as a lunatic by order of the court, are stated in the opinion.