Ker v. Illinois

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Ker v. Illinois
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Decided December 6, 1886
Full case name Frederick Ker v. People of the State of Illinois
Citations 119 U.S. 436 (more)
7 S. Ct. 225; 30 L. Ed. 421; 1886 U.S. LEXIS 2007
Prior history Writ of Error to the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois
There is no language in the 1870 Treaty of Extradition between the U.S. and Peru, which says in terms that a party fleeing from the U.S. to escape punishment for crime becomes thereby entitled to an asylum in the country to which Ker has fled.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Morrison Waite
Associate Justices
Samuel F. Miller · Stephen J. Field
Joseph P. Bradley · John M. Harlan
William B. Woods · T. Stanley Matthews
Horace Gray · Samuel Blatchford
Case opinions
Majority Miller, joined by unanimous

Ker v. Illinois, 119 U.S. 436 (1886), is a U.S. Supreme Court case. It held that a fugitive kidnapped from abroad could not claim any violation of the Constitution, laws or treaties of the United States.

The incident that led to this decision involved a Pinkerton Detective Agency agent, Henry Julian, was hired by the federal government to collect a larcenist, Frederick Ker, who had fled to Peru. Although Julian had the necessary extradition papers—the two governments had negotiated an extradition treaty a decade earlier—he found that there was no official to meet his request due to the recent Chilean military occupation of Lima. Rather than return home empty-handed, Julian kidnapped the fugitive, with assistance from Chilean forces, and placed him on a U.S. vessel heading back to the United States.

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