Benson v. McMahon

Citation32 L.Ed. 234,127 U.S. 457,8 S.Ct. 1240
PartiesBENSON v. MCMAHON, Marshal, et al
Decision Date14 May 1888
CourtUnited States Supreme Court

Peter Mitchell, for appellant.

S. Mallet Prevost and De Lancey Nicoll, for appellee.

MILLER, J.

This is an appeal from a judgment of the circuit court of the United States for the Southern district of New York upon a writ of habeas corpus, in which that court remanded the prisoner to the custody of the marshal of the district. The proceedings were originally instituted by a complaint made before Samuel H. Lyman, a United States commissioner for the circuit court of that district, by one Juan N. Navarro, consul general of the republic of Mexico at the city of New York, against George Benson, whom he charged with being guilty of the crime of forgery, committed in Mexico, and therefore liable to extradition under the treaty of December 11, 1861, between the United States and Mexico, to be there tried for that offense. The case was heard quite elaborately before Commissioner Lyman, who rendered the following judgment: 'After a full and fair examination of the law and the facts in the case, I find that the evidence produced against the said Benson is sufficient in law to justify his commitment for the crime of forgery for the purpose of being delivered up as a fugitive from justice to the republic of Mexico, pursuant to the provisions of the said treaty. Wherefore I have committed the said Benson, pursuant to the provisions of said treaty, to the custody of the United States marshal, to be by him held in the proper jail until a warrant for the surrender of the said Benson shall issue according to the stipulation of the said treaty, or he shall be otherwise dealt with according to law.' A writ of habeas corpus was thereupon allowed by Justice BLATCHFORD, of the supreme court of the United States, directed to Martin T. McMahon, the marshal in whose custody the prisoner, Benson, was held by order of the commissioner, requiring him to produce said prisoner before the circuit court of the United States for that district on February 21, 1888, at 11 o'clock in the forenoon; and also a writ of certiorari to Commissioner Lyman, directing him to return at the same time the 'cause of imprisonment of George Benson, and true copies of the proceedings, complaints, warrants, depositions, trials, examinations, determinations, commitments, and record' had before him. To this the marshal made return that he held the prisoner by virtue of a commitment of Commissioner Lyman, and the commissioner returned into the court a transcript of all the proceedings had before him, including the testimony and exhibits. Upon the hearing in the circuit court it was 'ordered, that the writ of habeas corpus be, and the same is, hereby discharged; that the petitioner remain in the custody of the marshal of the United States for the Southern district of New York, pending such application on appeal as petitioner may be advised to make to a justice of the supreme court of the United States, pursuant to the thirty-fourth rule of that court; or until the further order of this court, upon notice by said complainant after twenty days from the date of this order.' Thereupon the petitioner, George Benson, obtained the allowance of an appeal from this judgment of the circuit court to this court, by Mr. Justice BLATCHFORD. The matter has been argued very fully before us by counsel for the prisoner and for the Mexican government.

This proceeding was instituted before the commissioner under title 66, Rev. St. U S., concerning extradition. The first section reads as follows: 'Sec. 5270. Whenever there is a treaty or convention for extradition between the government of the United States and any foreign government, any justice of the supreme court, circuit judge, district judge, commissioner, authorized so to do by any of the courts of the United States, or judge of a court of record of general jurisdiction of any state, may, upon complaint made under oath, charging any person found within the limits of any state, district, or territory, with having committed within the jurisdicto n of any such foreign government any of the crimes provided for by such treaty or convention, issue his warrant for the apprehension of the person so charged, that he may be brought before such justice, judge, or commissioner, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered. If, on such hearing, he deems the evidence sufficient to sustain the charge under the provisions of the proper treaty or convention, he shall certify the same, together with a copy of all the testimony taken before him, to the secretary of state, that a warrant may issue, upon the requisition of the proper authorities of such foreign government, for the surrender of such person, according to the stipulations of the treaty or convention; and he shall issue his warrant for the commitment of the person so charged to the proper jail, there to remain until such surrender shall be made.' There is no evidence in this is record,—at least there is no copy—of any demand or requisition made by the Mexican authorities upon our government for the extradition of this prisoner. The proceedings, therefore, up to this time rest upon the initiative authorized by the statutes upon that subject; the Mexican government, however, being represented by counsel, and the correspondence with its officers which was introduced into the record showing their interest in the matter, and their purpose to have this prisoner brought to that country for trial. The treaty under which this right to arrest the prisoner and detain him for extradition is asserted was concluded at Mexico December 11, 1861, and proclaimed by the president of the United States June 20, 1862. 12 U. S. St. at Large, 1199. It has the usual provisions that the contracting parties shall, on requisitions made in their name, deliver up to justice persons who, being accused of the crimes enumerated in article 3, committed within the jurisdiction of the requiring party, shall seek an asylum or shall be found within the territories of the other. The enumeration of crimes in that article is as follows: 'Murder, (including assassination, parricide, infanticide, and poisoning;) assault with intent to commit murder; mutilation; piracy; arson; rape; kidnapping,—defining the same to be the taking and carrying away of a free person by force or deception; forgery, including the forging or making, or knowingly passing or putting in circulation, counterfeit coin or bank-notes, or other paper current as money, with intent to defraud any person or persons; the introduction or making of instruments for the fabrication of counterfeit coin or bank-notes, or other paper current as money; embezzlement of public moneys; robbery,—defining the same to be the felonious and forcible taking from the person of another of goods or money to any value, by violence, or putting him in fear; burglary,—defining the same to be breaking and entering into the house of another with intent to commit felony; and the crime of larceny of cattle or other goods and chattels of the value of twenty-five dollars or more, when the same is committed within the frontier states or territories of the contracting parties.' As the case appears before us on the transcript of the evidence produced before Commissioner Lyman, and before the circuit court on the writ of habeas corpus, it is considerably confused, but very full and elaborate. Several questions in regard to the introduction of evidence which were raised before the commissioner, some of them concerning the sufficiency of the authentication of papers and depositions taken in Mexico, and as to the testimony of persons supposed to be expert in the law of that country regarding the subject, are found in the record, which we do not think require notice here. The writ of habeas corpus directed to the marshal of the Southern district of New York does not operate as a writ of error, and many of the orders and decisions made by the commissioner at the hearing which took place before him become unimportant in the examination of the sufficiency of the proceedings under which he ordered the prisoner into custody. The main question to be considered upon such a writ of habeas corpus must be, had the commissioner jurisdiction to hear and decide cide upon the complaint made by the Mexican consul? and also, was there sufficient legal ground for his action in committing the prisoner to await the requisition of the Mexican authorities? In regard to the jurisdiction of the commissioner to hear the complaint no doubt can be entertained. The offense set out in three or four different forms in the petition of Navarro, the Mexican consul general, is distinctly that of forgery on the part of Benson; the particular forgery charged is that of the name of Henry E. Abbey, and the time, place, and circumstances are detailed with sufficient particularity to comply with the language of the treaty. The Revised Statutes, after providing for the hearing before the justice, or other officer to whom that duty is committed, to the end that the evidence of criminality may be heard and considered, proceed to enact that if, on such hearing, such officer 'deems the evidence sufficient to sustain the charge under the provisions of the proper treaty or convention, he shall certify the same, together with a copy of all the testimony taken before him, to the secretary of state, that a warrant may issue upon the requisition of the proper authorities of such foreign government, for the surrender of such person, according to the stipulations of the treaty or...

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  • Factor v. Laubenheimer
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • 4 Diciembre 1933
    ...the observance of the laws of the place of refuge is exacted in apprehending and detaining the fugitive. See Benson v. McMshon, 127 U.S. 457, 8 S.Ct. 1240, 32 L.Ed. 234; In re Metzger, 17 Fed. Cas. p. 232, No. 9,511. It prescribes a method of procedure, in conformity with local law, by whic......
  • Eain v. Wilkes, 80-1487
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 20 Febrero 1981
    ...cause to believe that an offense was committed and that the defendant committed it. 18 U.S.C. § 3184; Benson v. McMahon, 127 U.S. 457, 462-63, 8 S.Ct. 1240, 1243, 32 L.Ed. 234 (1888); M. C. Bassiouni, International Extradition and World Public Order 516-18 (1974) (hereinafter cited as "Bass......
  • Sunal v. Large Alexander v. United States Kulick
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    • United States Supreme Court
    • 23 Junio 1947
    ...430, 51 L.Ed. 689; also Hyde v. Shine, 199 U.S. 62, 25 S.Ct. 760, 50 L.Ed. 90. Compare also the extradition cases. Benson v. McMahon, 127 U.S. 457, 8 S.Ct. 1240, 32 L.Ed. 234; Ornelas v. Ruiz, 161 U.S. 502, 16 S.Ct. 689, 40 L.Ed. 787; Bryant v. United States, 167 U.S. 104, 17 S.Ct. 744, 42 ......
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    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
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    ...hearing to determine whether the government can justify detaining and extraditing the accused. See Benson v. McMahon , 127 U.S. 457, 463, 8 S.Ct. 1240, 32 L.Ed. 234 (1888) ; see also Ward v. Rutherford , 921 F.2d 286, 287–89 (D.C. Cir. 1990). In those proceedings, the burden rests on the go......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Reviewing Extraditions to Torture.
    • United States
    • 1 Mayo 2021
    ...arrested, and challenges to venue are uncommon. Hedges, supra, at 4 & n. 12. (35.) 18 U.S.C. [section] 3184. (36.) Benson v. McMahon, 127 U.S. 457, 463 (1888) (explaining that the proceeding resembles "those preliminary examinations which take place every day in this country before an e......

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