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Page 7 of Argument of J. Proctor Knott in re Varney Hatfield et al., on habeas corpus before the United States district court of Kentucky, February 28, 1888

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unauthorized individuals, it ha(l a right to seize and hold them to answer for crinies committed against its laws. My learned friend, however, asserted more than once in his argu- inent that there is no analogy betweenl principles of international law regulating the rendition of fugitives between independent nations, and those whichl govern interstate extradition under the Constitution and laws of the lUnited States. On the contrary, with all (lefererce to hois superior learning, I think I shall be able to show that they are identically the same. R ULES 'NDER THlE LAW OF NATIONS. Let us, therefore, look into the question a little further. It is true, as your Honor wvell knows, that as between independent sovereignties, in the absence of any conventional regulation by treaty or otherwise, neither can demand of the other Cl8 a matter of vifiht the rendition of a futitive from its justice, however atrocious his crime may be. His extra(Iition may be requested as a matter of coin ity, but not clailaed as a legal right on the part of the sovereignty asking it; and the question. of his surrender unnder such circumstances rests entirely in the discretion of the sovereign of whom the request is made ; and not in any Slip- posed right of sanctuary vested in the fugitive himself. Where there are treat y stipulations, however, between two independent sovereignties regulating the rendition of fuoitives from one to the other, there is. in every case within the purview of the treaty, an absolute right to demand oln the one hand, and . correlative duty on the other to sur- renider the fugitive demanded. And where that right is sought to be enforced, it must, of course, be done in the method, and according to the terms of the treaty, otherwise the party upon whom the demand is made is unrder no o1ligations, either legal or moral, to comply with it. It must not be forgotten, nevertheless, that the existence of a treaty of extradition between two sovereigns, in nowise diminishes the right of either to surrender a fugitive to the other in any other manner than that provided in the treaty. It may seize him, and deliver him to his pursuers, or permit them to take him back to the jurisdiction against whose laws he has offended, with or without the formality of extra- dition as provided in the treaty at its own discretion, and it will not lie in the mouth of the fugitive to complain that his right of asylum has been violated. RIGHT OF ASYLUM. The truth is, he can have no such right. It is impossible in the very nature of things. If he has, there can be no such thing