H. R. 6698
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
December 20, 2012
Mr. Smith of New Jersey introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
To direct the President to submit to Congress a report on fugitives currently residing in other countries whose extradition is sought by the United States and related matters.
This Act may be cited as the
Walter Patterson Justice and
Congress finds the following:
Extradition is the formal surrender of a person by one State to another State for prosecution or punishment.
Refusal by other nations to extradite to the United States fugitives within their jurisdiction who have been convicted of committing crimes on United States soil impedes the judicial process and undermines the rule of law.
The United States has bilateral extradition treaties with more than 100 nations and an extradition agreement with the European Union.
Principle X of the
1975 Helsinki Final Act requires that the 57 Organization for Security and
Co-operation in Europe participating States,
fulfill in good faith their
obligations under international law, both those obligations arising from the
generally recognized principles and rules of international law and those
obligations arising from treaties or other agreements, in conformity with
international law, to which they are parties.
The failure to bring criminal fugitives to justice in the United States is an affront to the victims of those crimes.
The refusal of Portugal, a close ally and good friend of the United States, to extradite George Wright, convicted of the 1962 murder of Walter Patterson, fugitive from justice since his 1970 escape from the Bayside State Prison in New Jersey, is a deplorable example of a failure to extradite.
The refusal to extradite George Wright is emblematic of a number of such refusals from American friends and allies, such that United States policies and efforts to secure extradition and the extradition policies of countries from which the United States seeks extradition bear further examination.
Such examination will be promoted by the issuance of a public report on the status of extradition requests by the United States and related matters.
Not later than 270 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on—
the number of fugitives currently residing in other countries whose extradition is sought by the United States and a list of those countries;
diplomatic and other efforts, if any, the United States has undertaken to secure the return of such fugitives;
the average length of time these cases have been outstanding;
how many of these cases have been resolved to the satisfaction of the United States;
factors that have been barriers to the resolution of these cases; and
information on the number of United States citizens whose extradition has been sought by other countries during the past 5 years, a list of those countries seeking extradition, and the outcomes of those requests.
The report required by subsection (a) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex if necessary.
In this section, the term appropriate congressional committees means—
the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate.