McGrath: Prisoners Not Entitled to Bail After Extradition Ordered
HELENA — In a formal opinion released Monday, Attorney General Mike McGrath held that once prisoners’ extradition to face charges in another state has been ordered, those prisoners are not eligible for bail in Montana.
The opinion concluded that, under Montana law, bail cannot be granted after a fugitive prisoner has been arrested on an extradition warrant, or after the prisoner has waived extradition. However, a prisoner may be allowed bail before a governor’s extradition warrant has been served.
Hill County Attorney Cyndee Peterson requested the opinion. Peterson also asked whether state district courts retained jurisdiction over fugitive prisoners after they have waived extradition. The opinion states that district courts retain jurisdiction only to effect transporting fugitives to the extraditing state.
An attorney general’s opinion carries the weight of law unless a Court overturns it or the legislature modifies the laws involved.