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The circuits are currently split on applying the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to a defendant who is a foreign national who resides outside of the United States and is being prosecuted in the United States for conduct that occurred elsewhere. The doctrine provides that a fugitive is prohibited from seeking relief from the justice system whose jurisdiction and authority they evade. Appropriate application of the doctrine is particularly important to foreign defendants as it affects their ability to travel outside of their home country, maintain employment, and protect their personal reputation. This Note discusses the evolution of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine and its current application to international defendants. It argues that the Seventh Circuit’s interpretation and application of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, as opposed to the Second Circuit’s, is correct because imposing fugitive status on foreign defendants who have never been to the United States does not serve the underlying purposes of the doctrine. Globalization has resulted in increased U.S. prosecution of foreign nationals, a trend that is expected to continue. Successfully prosecuting these individuals depends in part on the existence of a clear standard for determining the circumstances under which a defendant can be declared a fugitive.


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6 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Criminal Law

    • Criminal Procedure

    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 59

  • Issue
    • 3

  • Pagination
    • 1153

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022