PACILEO, SHERIFF v. WALKER
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA
Decided December 8, 1980
Respondent, who had escaped from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, was apprehended in California and was served with a warrant of arrest and rendition issued by the Governor of California pursuant to the Governor of Arkansas' request for extradition. Respondent thereafter challenged the issuance of the warrant in both state and federal courts. Ultimately, the California Supreme Court issued a writ of habeas corpus directing a California trial court to conduct an inquiry as to whether the Arkansas penitentiary in which respondent would be confined was presently operated in conformance with the Eighth Amendment of the Federal Constitution.
The Extradition Clause, Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, and its implementing statute, 18 U.S.C. 3182, do not give the courts of the "asylum" or "sending" State authority to inquire into the prison conditions of the "demanding" State. Once the Governor of California issued the warrant, claims as to constitutional defects in the Arkansas penal system should be heard in the courts of Arkansas, not those of California.
Certiorari granted; reversed and remanded.
The United States Constitution provides that "[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." Art. IV, 2, cl. 2.
In this case, there is no dispute as to the facts necessary to resolve the legal question presented. In 1975, respondent James Dean Walker escaped from the Arkansas Department of Corrections and remained at large until he was apprehended in California in 1979. In December 1979, the Governor of Arkansas requested the arrest and rendition of respondent, alleging that respondent was a fugitive from [449 U.S. 86, 87] justice. In February 1980, the Governor of California honored the request of the Governor of Arkansas and duly issued a warrant of arrest and rendition. This warrant was then served upon respondent by the Sheriff of El Dorado County, Cal. Respondent thereafter challenged the Governor's issuance of the warrant in both state and federal courts. He was unsuccessful until he reached the Supreme Court of California, which, on April 9, 1980, issued a writ of habeas corpus directing the Superior Court of El Dorado County to "conduct hearings to determine if the penitentiary in which Arkansas seeks to confine petitioner is presently operated in conformance with the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution and thereafter to decide the petition on its merits."
Petitioner Sheriff contends that Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, and its implementing statute, 18 U.S.C. 3182, do not give the courts of the "asylum" or "sending" State authority to inquire into the prison conditions of the "demanding" State. We agree. In Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282 (1978), our most recent pronouncement on the subject, we stated that "[i]nterstate extradition was intended to be a summary and mandatory executive proceeding derived from the language of Art. IV, 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution." Id., at 288. We further stated:
The petition for certiorari is granted, the judgment of the Supreme Court of California is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
Because Michigan v. Doran, 439 U.S. 282 (1978), did not involve a claimed violation of the Eighth Amendment, and [449 U.S. 86, 89] because Sweeney v. Woodall, 344 U.S. 86 (1952), did not involve a state court's decision to grant state habeas corpus relief, I do not believe that they control the question raised here, and I would set the case for plenary review. [449 U.S. 86, 90]