SWEENEY V. WOODALL, 344 U. S. 86 (1952)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Sweeney v. Woodall, 344 U.S. 86 (1952)

Sweeney v. Woodall

No. 100

Certiorari granted and judgment reversed, Nov. 17, 1952

344 U.S. 86


A fugitive from an Alabama prison was arrested in Ohio and held there for return to Alabama pursuant to proceedings instituted by the Governor of Alabama. Although he had made no attempt to raise such a question in the courts of Alabama, he claimed in Ohio that his confinement in Alabama amounted, and would amount again, to cruel and unusual punishment contrary to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and he applied unsuccessfully to an Ohio state court for release on a writ of habeas corpus. After exhausting his remedies in the Ohio courts, he applied to a federal district court in Ohio for habeas corpus on the same grounds. Alabama was not a party to that proceeding.

Held: the district court should not entertain the application on its merits. Pp. 344 U. S. 87-90.

(a) The scheme of interstate rendition set forth in Art. IV, § 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution and the statutes thereunder contemplates the prompt return of a fugitive from justice as soon as the state from which he fled demands him; these provisions do not contemplate an appearance by that state in the asylum state to defend against claimed abuses of the former state's prison system. Pp. 344 U. S. 89-90.

(b) The prisoner should test the constitutionality of his treatment by Alabama in the courts of that State, where all parties may be heard, where all pertinent testimony will be readily available, and where suitable relief, if any is necessary, may be fashioned. P. 344 U. S. 90.

194 F.2d 542 reversed.

The District Court dismissed respondent's petition for habeas corpus. The Court of Appeals reversed. 194 F.2d 542. On petition to this Court, certiorari granted, and judgment reversed, p. 344 U. S. 90.

Page 344 U. S. 87

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