Last modified on August 19, 2023, at 04:36


Extradition is the surrender of an accused criminal by one state or country to the jurisdiction of another.

Usually, not always, criminal suspects waive extradition when it is between states in the United States. Demands for extradition are usually opposed by criminal defendants when it is from one country to another. A country may also oppose extradition if the other country has the death penalty and the first country opposes such.

United States

Three states decline extradition requests by other states when the offense in question is a misdemeanor offense: Alaska, Florida and Hawaii.

Extradition requests must be made by the executive branch (usually the governor) of one state, which accuses a defendant of a crime, to the governor of another state, where the defendant is located (the asylum state). Under the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act that nearly every state has enacted,[1] the governor of the asylum state may investigate the case and its circumstances before complying with the request. He may be able to demand that the full expenses, which can be substantial, be paid by the requesting state in advance.

A federal statute purports to require governors to comply with extradition requests, but does not impose deadlines and apparently lacks any enforcement procedure.[2]

Practical considerations in extradition can make it a slow process in many cases, and sometimes one not even pursued by a governor for minor offenses.


In addition to its policy not to surrender accused criminals on misdemeanor offenses, the Governor of Florida has the authority to review demands for extradition by other states in ALL cases:

941.03 Form of demand.—No demand for the extradition of a person charged with crime in another state shall be recognized by the Governor unless in writing alleging, except in cases arising under s. 941.06, that the accused was present in the demanding state at the time of the commission of the alleged crime, and that thereafter he or she fled from the state, and accompanied by an authenticated copy of an indictment found or by information supported by affidavit in the state having jurisdiction of the crime, or by a copy of a warrant supported by an affidavit made before a committing magistrate of the demanding state; or by a copy of a judgment of conviction or of a sentence imposed in execution thereof, together with a statement by the executive authority of the demanding state that the person claimed has escaped from confinement or has broken the terms of his or her bail, probation, or parole. The indictment, information, or affidavit made before the magistrate must substantially charge the person demanded with having committed a crime under the law of that state; and the copy of indictment, information, affidavit, judgment of conviction, or sentence must be authenticated by the executive authority making the demand. History.—s. 3, ch. 20460, 1941; s. 1596, ch. 97-102.

941.04 Governor may investigate case.—When a demand shall be made upon the Governor of this state by the executive authority of another state for the surrender of a person so charged with crime, the Governor may call upon the Department of Legal Affairs or any prosecuting officer in this state to investigate or assist in investigating the demand, and to report to him or her the situation and circumstances of the person so demanded, and whether the person ought to be surrendered. History.—s. 4, ch. 20460, 1941; ss. 11, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1597, ch. 97-102.

941.05 Extradition of persons imprisoned or awaiting trial in another state or who have left the demanding state under compulsion.— (1) When it is desired to have returned to this state a person charged in this state with a crime, and such person is imprisoned or is held under criminal proceedings then pending against the person in another state, the Governor of this state may agree with the executive authority of such other state for the extradition of such person before the conclusion of such proceedings or the person’s term of sentence in such other state, upon condition that such person be returned to such other state at the expense of this state as soon as the prosecution in this state is terminated. (2) The Governor of this state may also surrender on demand of the executive authority of any other state any person in this state who is charged in the manner provided in s. 941.23 with having violated the laws of the state whose executive authority is making the demand, even though such person left the demanding state involuntarily.

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