Extradition, the surrender by a country or state of a person accused of a crime in another country or state. The purpose of extradition is to prevent a criminal from escaping justice by fleeing beyond the jurisdiction of the country or state where the crime was committed.
The United States holds extradition treaties with many countries. If two countries have no extradition treaty, neither is obligated to extradite to the other, but may do so as a matter of courtesy. Each treaty lists the crimes for which extradition may be sought. Political crimes, such as treason, are generally excluded. Political offenders usually find asylum if they escape to another country.
The United States Constitution, in Article IV, Section 2, provides for extradition from one state to another of persons accused of a crime. After a person is indicted for a crime the governor makes an extradition request to the governor of the state to which the accused has fled. It can be refused but is usually granted.