USA vs Rauscher

Principle: when an accused is extradited the the receiving state must try him for that specific offence for which his extradition was sought for. This is called the Rule of Specialty.

Facts: Respondent, a citizen and resident of Mexico, was forcibly kidnapped from his home and flown by private plane to Texas, where he was arrested for his participation in the kidnapping and murder of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent and the agent’s pilot. After concluding that DEA agents were responsible for the abduction, the District Court dismissed the indictment on the ground that it violated the Extradition Treaty between the United States and Mexico (Extradition Treaty or Treaty), and ordered respondent’s repatriation. The Court of  Appeals affirmed. Based on one of its prior decisions, the court found that, since the United States had authorized the abduction, and since the Mexican Government had  protested the Treaty violation, jurisdiction was improper.


Whether a offender could be tried for an offence which is other the the specific offence for which the offenders extradition is sought for?

Judgment: Supreme court of United States quashed the conviction and ordered the release of the prisoner.

Reasoning: the supreme court of USA observed the weight of authority and of sound principle are in favor of the proposition that a person who has been brought within the jurisdiction of the court, by virtue of proceedings under an extradition treaty can only be tried for one of the offences described in that treaty and for the offence with which he is charged in the proceedings for his extradition, until a reasonable time and opportunity have given to him, after his release on trial upon such charge, to return the country from whose asylum he had been forcibly taken under those proceedings.


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