Last week in United States v. Day, the Fourth Circuit called attention to a circuit split over the extradition rule of specialty found in the United States–Mexico Extradition Treaty. The Treaty provides that “a person extradited under [the Treaty] shall not be detained, tried or punished in the territory of the requesting Party for an offense other than that for which extradition has been granted.”
The defendant in Day argued that the aiding and abetting jury instruction in his case violated the extradition rule of specialty “because Mexico did not grant—or even consider—extradition on the basis of aiding and abetting liability.”
As the Fourth Circuit noted, "the circuits are split on the question of whether an individual defendant has standing to raise a specialty violation, and the Fourth Circuit has yet to rule on the matter. United States v. Davis, 954 F.2d 182, 186 (4th Cir. 1992).”
The court summarized the split as follows (but refrained from joining it):
The courts that have declined to find individual standing take the view that "only an offended nation can complain about the purported violation of an extradition treaty." United States v. Kaufman, 874 F.2d 242, 243 (5th Cir. 1989) (per curiam) (denying petition for rehearing and suggestion for rehearing en banc); see also, e.g., Shapiro v. Ferrandina, 478 F.2d 894, 906 (2d Cir. 1973). In contrast, other courts have held that an individual "may raise whatever objections the extraditing country would have been entitled to raise." United States v. Cuevas, 847 F.2d 1417, 1426 (9th Cir. 1988); see also, e.g., United States v. Diwan, 864 F.2d 715, 721 (11th Cir. 1989).
Because we conclude that Day's specialty argument fails on the merits, however, we need not resolve the government's standing argument now.
You can read the full opinion here: United States v. Day, No. 11-5218 (4th Cir. Nov. 29, 2012).