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The People Ex Rel. v. Lohman

OPINION FILED MAY 22, 1959.

THE PEOPLE EX REL. RAYMOND EVERETT HACKLER, APPELLANT,

v.

JOSEPH D. LOHMAN, SHERIFF, APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Criminal Court of Cook County; the Hon. HAROLD P. O'CONNELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DAVIS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied September 22, 1959.

This is an appeal from an order of the criminal court of Cook County quashing a writ of habeas corpus and remanding Raymond Everett Hackler, relator, to the custody of the defendant, Joseph D. Lohman, for extradition to the State of North Carolina. The writ was issued on relator's petition after his arrest upon a rendition warrant issued by the Governor of Illinois at the request of the Governor of North Carolina.

Relator contends that the warrant on its face is legally insufficient and void; that its deficiencies cannot be cured by extrinsic evidence; that the court erred in denying his application for discharge made during the hearing; and that the evidence established that he served his full sentences for the crimes of which he was convicted in the demanding State, rendering extradition for those offenses illegal. Jurisdiction to consider this appeal is conferred upon us by statute. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 60, par. 27.

The sheriff's return to the writ of habeas corpus alleged that relator was in his custody by authority of the rendition warrant issued by the Governor of Illinois on requisition of the Governor of North Carolina; that all papers were legal; that relator was a fugitive from justice charged with offenses against the laws of the State of North Carolina and was the person named in the extradition papers and Governor's warrant. No papers or documents accompanied the return. At the hearing the defendant introduced only the rendition warrant. Relator then moved for a discharge on the ground that the warrant was void on its face. After argument by counsel in support of the motion, the trial judge stated that he did not believe the case should be decided on a technicality, and counsel expressed a desire to offer evidence. The court indicated approval and stated that it did not wish to rule on the case piecemeal.

The relator then testified that he was the person named in the Governor's warrant; that he had lived in Chicago two years; that he was convicted in the State of North Carolina on the charges named in the warrant and was sentenced to imprisonment, but had served his full sentences; that he was a "Class B" prisoner and was familiar with the prison rules in North Carolina concerning "good time" while serving a sentence; that his time would have been up in December of 1955; and that he had never been advised of any change in his status from "Class B" to "Class A" or "Class C."

After relator had testified, his counsel introduced, without objection, copies of certain documents which had been filed by the North Carolina authorities in support of the extradition proceedings. These included the request of its Governor for the return of relator as a fugitive and the sworn statement of the director of prisons that relator had been convicted of certain crimes and sentenced to imprisonment; and that he had escaped while serving the sentences. Copies of the commitments were also offered in evidence.

These papers, certified as authentic by the Governor of North Carolina, showed that relator was convicted in the municipal court of High Point, on June 27, 1955, of reckless driving, drunk driving and driving with no operator's license and sentenced to nine months imprisonment; that on July 7, 1955, he was convicted in the county court of Rowan County, of the crime of false pretense and sentenced to jail for eighteen months, the prior sentence being adjusted to run concurrently with this sentence; that on Juy 8, 1955, he was also convicted of larceny by trickery in the county court of Davidson County upon which he was sentenced to twelve months confinement to begin at the expiration of the latter sentence; that on March 12, 1956, while serving these sentences, he escaped from Cabarrus County prison camp, at Mt. Pleasant; and that his extradition and return is requested for the purpose of completing the sentences. The affidavit of the director of prisons was sworn to before a magistrate and the usual certificate of magistracy was attached. After considering this evidence, the criminal court quashed the writ.

The relator takes the position that the trial court could not properly consider the contents of the supporting papers in determining the legality of his arrest and detention, but must decide the case by reference to the provisions of the rendition warrant alone; and that since the latter document failed to comply with sections 3 and 7 of the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1957, chap. 60, pars. 20 and 24,) it was void and the relator was entitled to discharge.

The rendition warrant issued by the Governor of Illinois, after reciting the request by the Governor of North Carolina that Hackler be returned as a fugitive, stated that there had been produced and laid before him "a copy of an commitment, warrant certified as authentic by the said Governor" charging Hackler with having committed in the State of North Carolina the crimes of "reckless driving, no operator's license, drunk driving and no operator's license" which are certified to be crimes under the laws of that State; and that he is satisfied that Hackler is a fugitive from justice, has fled from the State of North Carolina and has taken refuge in this State. The warrant then commands the arrest, the production of the fugitive in court and his delivery to the agent of the demanding State unless discharged.

Section 3 prescribes the form and contents of the demand for extradition and specifies that the documents which shall accompany it shall be "a copy of an indictment found or by information supported by affidavit in the state having jurisdiction of the crime, or by a copy of an affidavit made before a magistrate there, together with a copy of any warrant which was issued thereupon; 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 bail, probation or parole."

Section 7 sets forth the form and contents of the Governor's warrant in these words: "If the Governor decides that the demand should be complied with, he shall sign a warrant of arrest, which shall be sealed with the state seal, and be directed to any peace officer or other person who he may think fit to entrust with the execution thereof. The warrant must substantially recite the facts necessary to the validity of its issuance."

This poses the question of whether a rendition warrant reciting that it is based upon the production of a "commitment, warrant" meets these statutory requirements. However, before resolving this question, it is proper that we recur to the fundamental principles of the law of extradition.

The rights and basic procedures of interstate extradition of fugitives are created and controlled by the Federal constitution and effectuating statutes. (U.S. Const., art. IV, sec. 2; U.S. Rev. Stat., sec. 5278, Title 18 USCA par. 3182; United States ex rel. McCline v. Meyering, (7th cir.) 75 F.2d 716; People ex rel. Millet v. Babb, 1 Ill.2d 191; People ex rel. Guidotti v. Bell, 372 Ill. 572.) Section 2 of article IV of the United States constitution recites the rights and duties of the demanding and asylum States: "A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another ...


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