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United States v. Alvarez-Machain

United States Supreme Court
504 U.S. 655 (1992)


Facts

Humberto Alvarez-Machain (Alvarez) (defendant), a Mexican citizen and resident was indicted in United States federal district court for participating in the kidnapping and murder of United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent Enrique Camarena-Salazar (Camarena) and a Mexican pilot working with Camarena, Alfredo Zavala-Avelar. On April 2, 1990, Alvarez, a doctor, was forcibly kidnapped from his medical office in Guadalajara, Mexico and flowed to El Paso, Texas where he was arrested by DEA officials and indicted. Alvarez moved to dismiss the indictment by claiming that his abduction constituted outrageous government conduct and that the district court lacked jurisdiction to try him because he was abducted in violation of the Extradition Treaty of 1979 between the United States and Mexico. The district court rejected Alvarez’s outrageous government conduct claim, but ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the case because Alvarez had been abducted in violation of the Extradition Treaty. The district court ordered that Alvarez be repatriated to Mexico. The United States government (plaintiff) appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed dismissal of the indictment and repatriation of Alvarez. The court of appeals held that although not expressly prohibited by the Extradition Treaty, forcible abduction violated the purpose of the treaty. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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