Requisitions, Waivers and Extraditions

What are Requisitions, Waivers and Extraditions?

Requisitions, Waivers and Extraditions are official actions of a governor which are used when the custody of accused or convicted criminals is transferred between states.

If a person is accused of committing a crime in West Virginia but has fled to another state, a fugitive warrant may be issued to bring that person back to face charges in West Virginia. If that person is arrested, the "asylum state" contacts West Virginia law enforcement to determine whether our state, the "demand state," still wants to bring the accused back and is willing to extradite that person. If so, a hearing is held on the fugitive warrant, and the accused has specific rights.

During the extradition proceedings, the accused fugitive may agree to be returned to West Virginia to face charges without further court action by signing a waiver of extradition. This agreement allows West Virginia law enforcement officials to take immediate custody of the fugitive and return to West Virginia.

If the accused refuses to waive extradition, the county prosecutor where the crime was committed applies to the Governor for a requisition to be issued. If the documents are in order, the Governor issues the requisition, and appoints an agent to take custody of the accused.

The requisition goes to the asylum state governor, who may issue a warrant to the sheriff of the county where the fugitive is held, ordering the fugitive turned over to the appointed agent.

The same series of events happens when another state seeks to have a person returned from West Virginia to face charges there; extradition. Sometimes, differences in the severity of sentencing between states may result in contested extradition proceedings. For example, if murders have been committed in two states and one of the states has a death penalty and the other does not, a fugitive may try to avoid extradition to the state with the death penalty.

Requisitions issued by the Governor of West Virginia are on file and entered in the Executive Journal. Waivers signed by persons in West Virginia agreeing to be taken to another state are also on file but are not recorded in the Executive Journal.

Related Laws

Several sections of West Virginia Code refer to requisitions, waivers and extraditions.

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