Abductions of Foreigners

Responding to my post about the abduction and internment of Japanese from Latin American during World War II, the Head Heeb points out the modern-day abduction of drug dealers from Latin America and how it’s legal:

The Supreme Court explicitly legalized this process in the 1992 case of United States v. Alvarez-Machain, which involved a Mexican doctor kidnapped and brought to trial in California on charges of abetting the murder of a DEA agent. Relying on the “Ker-Frisbie doctrine” – a nineteenth-century principle of law holding that “the power of a court to try a person for crime is not impaired by the fact that he had been brought within the court’s jurisdiction by reason of a forcible abduction” – the court decided that the manner in which Alvarez-Machain was brought to the United States did not bar his trial. In fact, the court held that the power of the United States to prosecute Alvarez-Machain was even greater than if he had been formally extradited; since the extradition treaty with Mexico had not been invoked, the United States was not bound by the limitations on prosecution contained therein. In an additional triumph of form over substance, the court stated that, since the United States and Mexico had no treaty specifically forbidding abductions of Mexican citizens, the kidnapping – although possibly “shocking” – was perfectly legal.

I knew about the abductions of drug dealers, but am a little shocked by this case.

By Zack

Dad, gadget guy, bookworm, political animal, global nomad, cyclist, hiker, tennis player, photographer