Historical and Revision Notes
Based on title 18, U.S.C., 1940 ed., § 408e (May 18, 1934, ch. 302, 48 Stat. 782; Aug. 2, 1946, ch. 735, 60 Stat. 789).
Said section 408e was rewritten and the phrase “offenses as they are defined either at common law or by the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees” were inserted to remove the ambiguity discussed in the opinion of the Circuit Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, in Brandenburg v. U.S., decided September 6, 1944, not yet reported [144 F2d 656], reversing the conviction of the appellant. The court held that Congress intended the enumerated offenses to mean those as defined at common law. The effect of the rewritten section is to make the statute applicable whether the offense committed is one defined at common law or by the law of the state from which the fugitive flees.
The words “offense punishable by imprisonment in a penitentiary” were substituted for “felony” to make the statute uniformly applicable and to include crimes of the grade of felony even where, as in New Jersey, they are denominated as misdemeanor, high misdemeanor or otherwise.
Words “from any State, Territory, or possession of the United States or the District of Columbia” were omitted in view of definitive section 10 of this title.
Words “upon conviction thereof” were deleted as surplusage since punishment cannot be imposed until a conviction is secured.
Minor changes were made in phraseology.
1996—Pub. L. 104–294 inserted at end of first par. “For the purposes of clause (3) of this paragraph, the term ‘State’ includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.”
1994—Pub. L. 103–322, § 330016(1)(K), substituted “fined under this title” for “fined not more than $5,000”.
Pub. L. 103–322, § 330004(19), struck out “or which, in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” before “or (2) to avoid” and “or which in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” before “is charged, or (3)”.
1988—Pub. L. 100–690 inserted “, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General,” after “the Attorney General”.
1970—Pub. L. 91–452 inserted cl. (3) and “, or in which an avoidance of service of process or a contempt referred to in clause (3) of the first paragraph of this section is alleged to have been committed,” after “in custody or confinement”.
1961—Pub. L. 87–368 substituted “a crime, or an attempt to commit a crime, punishable by death or which is a felony under the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees, or which, in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State” for “murder, kidnaping, burglary, robbery, mayhem, rape, assault with a dangerous weapon, arson punishable as a felony, or extortion accompanied by threats of violence, or attempt to commit any of the foregoing offenses as they are defined either at common law or by the laws of the place from which the fugitive flees”, “death or which is a felony under the laws of such place, or which in the case of New Jersey, is a high misdemeanor under the laws of said State,” for “imprisonment in a penitentiary”, and required that prosecutions must be upon the formal written approval of the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney General, which function may not be delegated.
1956—Act Apr. 6, 1956, inserted “, arson punishable as a felony” after “assault with a dangerous weapon”.
Effective Date of 1956 Amendment
Act Apr. 6, 1956, ch. 177, § 2, 70 Stat. 100, provided that:
“The amendment made by the first section of this Act [amending this section] shall take effect on the thirtieth day after the date of enactment of this Act [April 6, 1956].”