Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note addresses the ongoing use of extra legal apprehension, as applied under "Ker v. Illinois" and "Frisbie v. Collins," as a viable alternative to extradition in obtaining custody over those accused of exporting drugs to the United States. The author outlines the cultural and political reasons for the production of illicit drugs, examines the purposes and structures of formal extradition treaties and their effectiveness in bringing drug traffickers to trial, and considers the alternatives to formal extradition. The author concludes that extralegal apprehension, in both of its two forms--abduction and irregular rendition--should remain an alternative means of securing custody of a drug trafficker in certain exceptional cases of narcotics enforcement. This Note recognizes the significant risks inherent in such a policy; the author argues, however, that United States law enforcement agencies should resort to extralegal apprehension only when formal extradition fails. In such cases, law enforcement agencies should opt primarily for irregular rendition of the drug trafficker by way of ad hoc, clandestine arrangements with the host state. Abduction, the author argues, should be used only in cases in which the host state has provided aid or sanctuary to the wanted drug trafficker.