Nor could Jordan or any other requested country invoke the bar against double jeopardy that appears in many extradition treaties to prevent second punishment after a criminal prosecution for the extraditable offense has been conducted and fully carried out. That provision obviously does not prevent extradition of a fugitive who flees a country where he has been convicted in order to avoid imprisonment. It also should not prevent extradition if, by some other unlawful means such as Hamas’s extortionate demand, the criminal process is aborted.
Congress’s objective in enacting the provisions authorizing prosecution of such crimes in United States courts, even though they were committed elsewhere, was to ensure that those who murdered American citizens like Judy Greenbaum, Abigail Leitel, and the Applebaums would not be able to avoid just punishment for their crimes. That goal can now be realized only if the United States Department of Justice takes prompt and effective action.
Nathan Lewin is a Washington lawyer who was a federal prosecutor and served as deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. This originally appeared on The New York Sun website (www.nysun.com).