Procedure for Removal.

Only after a person has been charged with a crime in the regular course of judicial proceedings is the governor of a state entitled to make demand for his return from another state.243 The person demanded has no constitutional right to be heard before the governor of the state in which he is found on the question whether he has been substantially charged with crime and is a fugitive from justice.244 The constitutionally required surrender is not to be interfered with by habeas corpus upon speculations as to what ought to be the result of a trial.245 Nor is it proper thereby to inquire into the motives controlling the actions of the governors of the demanding and surrendering states.246 Matters of defense, such as the running of the statute of limitations,247 or the contention that continued confinement in the prison of the demanding state would amount to cruel and unjust punishment,248 cannot be heard on habeas corpus but should be tested in the courts of the demanding state, where all parties may be heard, where all pertinent testimony will be readily available, and where suitable relief, if any, may be fashioned. A defendant will, however, be discharged on habeas corpus if he shows by clear and satisfactory evidence that he was outside the demanding state at the time of the crime.249 If, however, the evidence is conflicting, habeas corpus is not a proper proceeding to try the question of alibi.250 The habeas court’s role is, therefore, very limited.251


Kentucky v. Dennison, 65 U.S. (24 How.) 66, 104 (1861); Pierce v. Creecy, 210 U.S. 387 (1908). See also Matter of Strauss, 197 U.S. 324, 325 (1905); Marbles v. Creecy, 215 U.S. 63 (1909); Strassheim v. Daily, 221 U.S. 280 (1911). [Back to text]
Munsey v. Clough, 196 U.S. 364 (1905); Pettibone v. Nichols, 203 U.S. 192 (1906). [Back to text]
Drew v. Thaw, 235 U.S. 432 (1914). [Back to text]
Pettibone v. Nichols, 203 U.S. 192 (1906). [Back to text]
Biddinger v. Commissioner of Police, 245 U.S. 128 (1917). See also Rodman v. Pothier, 264 U.S. 399 (1924). [Back to text]
Sweeney v. Woodall, 344 U.S. 86 (1952). [Back to text]
Hyatt v. People ex rel. Corkran, 188 U.S. 691 (1903). See also South Carolina v. Bailey, 289 U.S. 412 (1933). [Back to text]
Munsey v. Clough, 196 U.S. 364, 375 (1905). [Back to text]
Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282, 289 (1978). In California v. Superior Court, 482 U.S. 400 (1987), the Court reiterated that extradition is a “summary procedure.” [Back to text]