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NEWS: Mexican Supreme Court Changes Extradition Policy

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posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:19 PM
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The Mexican Supreme Court ruled today that criminals facing possible life in prison sentences in the U.S. can be extradited, reversing an earlier policy in place since 2001. The ban on such criminals being extradited has been a sore point with the U.S. as many criminals accused of murder and other serious crimes have escaped justice by seeking refuge in Mexico. The ruling doesn't change the policy of not extraditing persons facing death penalty sentences, however.
 



abcnews.go.com
MEXICO CITY Nov 29, 2005 — Mexico's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that suspects facing life in prison can be extradited, overturning a 4-year-old ban that had prevented many of the country's most notorious criminals from being sent to the United States.

A 1978 treaty with the United States allows Mexico to deny extradition if a person faces the death penalty a restriction that still stands under Tuesday's ruling. In 2001, the Supreme Court also blocked extradition of suspects facing life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Capital punishment has been banned by Mexico's constitution since June and was only rarely applied for decades before that. Life sentences are also rare.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a good development, as many murderers have escaped to Mexico to escape the reach of U.S. prosecutors. I bet there was some political element to this too, as the situation has gotten more attention following the murder of a Denver policeman by a Mexican national who fled back to that country.




posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 09:11 PM
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I like the fact that they can be extradicted, however I wonder if all sentences have to be life with the possibility of parole? If that is the case then they are not really getting a full life sentence. :shk:

[edit on 11/29/2005 by shots]



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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I am not a lawyer by any means, but I was under the impression that many offenders who face life, also face the posssibility of the death sentence as well. I thought it all had to do with the severity of the crime, level of co-operation with police, the punishment that the prosecution seeks, etc, etc. If this is in fact the case, then I do not really see how this would change much.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 02:43 AM
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One more concern for the criminals to contend with--perhaps some of them may be dissuaded from crime by this agreement. One thing is for sure, it can't hurt the situation.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 08:28 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
I am not a lawyer by any means, but I was under the impression that many offenders who face life, also face the posssibility of the death sentence as well. I thought it all had to do with the severity of the crime, level of co-operation with police, the punishment that the prosecution seeks, etc, etc. If this is in fact the case, then I do not really see how this would change much.


That had been on my mind also last night and I do believe that certain crimes to in fact mandate the death penalty.

I did some research and found that in some cases they have overturned some of those laws, yet it makes me wonder what would happen if we extradite an individual from Mexico. We could not sentence him to death as required by our laws so what happens when they sentence a Mexican national with the option of parole while forced to put Americans to death?

This kind of looks like a catch 22 situation where the American could try and get the law changed or his/her sentence overturned on grounds of discrimination, which in effect would weaken our current laws.

Does anyone have a possible solution too the above?



[edit on 11/30/2005 by shots]



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by shots
...I wonder if all sentences have to be life with the possibility of parole?
[edit on 11/29/2005 by shots]


Not all life sentances with the possibility of parole result in the person getting paroled. I would wonder if such a sentance would be rendered just to have the person extradited even though there was never any intention of paroling the person.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 12:11 PM
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Originally posted by shots
That had been on my mind also last night and I do believe that certain crimes to in fact mandate the death penalty.


Not 100% sure, but I don't think so. I think there's always a penalty phase where a jury has to decide between life in prison and death. In many states, to be eligible for the death penalty some special circumstances have to be shown, such as multiple murders.

Usually when dealing with a foreign state that prevents extradition of people in jeopardy of death, the prosecutor promises to not seek it.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 03:13 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Not 100% sure, but I don't think so. I think there's always a penalty phase where a jury has to decide between life in prison and death. In many states, to be eligible for the death penalty some special circumstances have to be shown, such as multiple murders.


Further research on my part shows that you are correct apprently states no longer have the death penalty.

So lets look at it from a different perspective.

We have two identical shootings of police officers; One by John Paul Smith and one by Juan Hernandez. John Paul gets the death penalty and Juan only gets life with the possibillity of parole (per Mexican law), can John Paul then ask to have his sentence changed to life rather then death?

See what I am getting at? This could have profound affect on our system of justice if we bow to what the Mexican government wants.



posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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The US and Canada have had a similar agreement on extraditions for quite some time. Normally, we are given assurance that the prosecution will not seek the death penalty. I think most European countries have similar arrangements with the US regarding the death penalty.

I think that if US sentences were going to be challenged because of this, it probably would have already happened.



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