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Banishing justice: Extradition limits in the United States
Criminology & Public Policy  (IF4.333),  Pub Date : 2021-11-22, DOI: 10.1111/1745-9133.12561
David M. Bierie, Kristen M. Budd

Arrest warrants are an important and pervasive aspect of crime and justice in the United States. There are nearly three million arrest warrants active on any given day, of which several hundred thousand were issued for serious violent crimes (SVCs) such as aggravated assault, robbery, forcible sexual assault, and homicide. In more than a third of those SVC warrants, however, extradition is conditionally waived such that an offender can avoid arrest by leaving town; they can elect banishment over prosecution. Studying extradition limits among these serious offenses presents an opportunity to illuminate both a challenge to public safety and justice, as well as forces underlying discretionary decision making by police. To that end, we study all arrest warrants issued in the United States for SVCs between 2017 and 2019. We model banishment rates at the county-level within a multivariate negative binomial framework. Analyses showed banishment varied as a function of policing capacity, firearm use in crimes, racial composition, and voting behavior during the 2016 presidential election.