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COSGROVE v. WINNEY.

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


decided: April 24, 1899.

COSGROVE
v.
WINNEY.

APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN.

Author: Fuller

[ 174 U.S. Page 66]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE FULLER delivered the opinion of the court.

Article three of the Extradition Convention between the United States and Great Britain, promulgated March 25, 1890, 26 Stat. 1508, and section 5275 of the Revised Statutes, are as follows:

"Article III. No person surrendered by or to either of the High Contracting Parties shall be triable or be tried for any crime or offence, committed prior to his extradition, other

[ 174 U.S. Page 67]

     than the offence for which he was surrendered, until he shall have had an opportunity of returning to the country from which he was surrendered."

"SEC. 5275. Whenever any person is delivered by any foreign government to an agent of the United States, for the purpose of being brought within the United States and tried for any crime of which he is duly accused, the President shall have power to take all necessary measures for the transportation and safekeeping of such accused person, and for his security against lawless violence, until the final conclusion of his trial for the crimes or offences specified in the warrant of extradition, and until his final discharge from custody or imprisonment for or on account of such crimes or offences, and for a reasonable time thereafter, and may employ such portion of the land and naval forces of the United States, or of the militia thereof, as may be necessary for the safekeeping and protection of the accused."

Cosgrove was extradited under the treaty, and entitled to all the immunities accorded to a person so situated; and it is admitted that the offence for which he was indicted in the District Court was committed prior to his extradition, and was not extraditable. But it is insisted that although he could not be extradited for one offence and tried for another, without being afforded the opportunity to return to Canada, yet as, after he had given bail, he did so return, his subsequent presence in the United States was voluntary and not enforced, and therefore he had lost the protection of the treaty and rendered himself subject to arrest on the capias and to trial in the District Court for an offence other than that on which he was surrendered; and this although the prosecution in the state court was still pending and undetermined, and Cosgrove had not been released or discharged therefrom.

Conceding that if Cosgrove had remained in the State of Michigan and within reach of his bail, he would have been exempt, the argument is that, as he did not continuously so remain, and, during his absence in Canada, his sureties could not have followed him there and compelled his return, if his appearance happened to be required according to the exigency

[ 174 U.S. Page 68]

     of the bond, which the facts stated show that it was not, it follows that when he actually did come back to Michigan he had lost his exemption.

But we cannot concur in this view. The treaty and statute secured to Cosgrove a reasonable time to return to the country from which he was surrendered, after his discharge from custody or imprisonment for or on account of the offence for which he had been extradited, and at the time of this arrest he had not been so discharged by reason of acquittal; or conviction and compliance with sentence; or the termination of the state prosecution in any way. United States v. Rauscher, 119 U.S. 407, 433.

The mere fact that he went to Canada did not in itself put an end to the prosecution or to the custody in which he was held by his bail, or even authorize the bail to be forfeited, and when he reentered Michigan he was as much subject to the compulsion of his sureties as if he had not been absent.

In Taylor v. Taintor, 16 Wall. 366, 371, Mr. Justice Swayne, speaking for the court, said: "When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another State; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and, if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is likened to the rearrest by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner. In 6 Modern, 231, it is said: 'The bail have their principal on a string, and may pull the string whenever they please, and render him in their discharge.' The rights of the bail in civil and criminal cases are the same. They may doubtless permit him to go beyond the limits of the State within which he is to answer, but it is unwise and imprudent to do so; and if any evil ensue, they must bear the burden of the consequences, and cannot cast them upon the obligee."

[ 174 U.S. Page 69]

     We think the conclusion cannot be maintained on this record that, because of Cosgrove's temporary absence, he had waived or lost an exemption which protected him while he was subject to the state authorities to answer for the offence for which he had been extradited.

The case is a peculiar one. The marshal initiated the prosecution in the state courts, and some weeks thereafter the indictment was found in the District Court for the same act on which the charge in the state courts was based.The offences, indeed, were different, and different penalties were attached to them. But it is immaterial that Cosgrove might have been liable to be prosecuted for both, as that is not the question here, which is whether he could be arrested on process from the District Court before the prior proceeding had terminated and he had had opportunity to return to the country from which he had been taken. Or, rather, whether the fact of his going to Canada pending the state proceedings deprived him of the immunity he possessed by reason of his extradition so that he could not claim it though the jurisdiction of the state courts had not been exhausted; he had come back to Michigan; and he had no opportunity to return to Canada after final discharge from the state prosecution.

We are of opinion that, under the circumstances, Cosgrove retained the right to have the offence for which he was extradited disposed of and then to depart in peace, and that this arrest was in abuse of the high process under which he was originally brought into the United States, and cannot be sustained.

Final order reversed and cause remanded with a direction to discharge petitioner.

18990424

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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