Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note examines how U.S. courts have weakened the specialty doctrine in treaty-based extradition to the United States. Although courts have consistently paid lip service to its vitality, the doctrine of a specialty has often been set aside to allow prosecution for additional offenses. This Note examines the primary line of inquiry that has been used by courts to interpret the doctrine, and suggests that it is incorrect. A correct interpretation of the doctrine requires a presumption that the extradited person may not be charged with additional offenses. Part II of this Note will outline the doctrine of specialty and the role it plays in international extradition. Part III will present the development of the modern interpretation of the doctrine. Part IV will highlight the problems created by this loose interpretation using State v. Pang as a paradigm. Part V will present a more restrictive interpretation: when extradition is granted pursuant to treaty it should be presumed that the extradited person may not be prosecuted for additional offenses.