Mexico Is No Longer Outlaw Central
Treaty with US is working, but bars death penalty
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2008 5:31 AM CDT
District Attorney Dewey Hudson.   (AP Photo/Logan Wallace)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – It's getting harder for US crooks to hide out in Mexico—as Cpl. Cesar Laurean would no doubt attest, Patrick J. Lyons blogs in the New York Times. In fact, Mexico and Washington have extradited dozens of suspects every year since an old treaty was improved in 1995. But the pact includes one "politically fraught" detail: that if Mexico objects, the US cannot seek the death penalty in Laurean's case.

A North Carolina district attorney called it “very frustrating and disappointing," but said his “hands were tied” if he wanted the suspect returned, CNN reports. Laurean, accused of killing pregnant fellow Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, could also postpone extradition a year or more by appealing in Mexican courts. Still, "hoary movie clichés notwithstanding, Mexico these days offers no easy sanctuary from the long arm of American law," Lyons blogs.