Extradition Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Extradition, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Extradition?

n. Surrendering a person to another state or country by one state or country. The state requesting the right to prosecute usually makes the claim to the governor of the state where the accused is present. A Governor may refuse to extradite the person if he/she has proven that the prosecution is not warranted despite the constitutional mandate that “on demand of the Executive authority of the State from which \[a fugitive from justice\] fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.” A defendant may waive extradition by allowing himself/herself to be returned to the state where the charges are pending. When international extradition is involved, it is often more difficult and is usually governed by treaty. Most countries will extradite those charged with serious crimes although some will not and refuse for certain crimes.