Phoenix police free hundreds of fugitives with felony warrants each year because they’re unable to extradite them back to the places where they were charged, reports the Arizona Republic. Since 2008, Phoenix has released more than 820 suspected felons out of nearly 3,000 arrested for crimes ranging from murder to document crimes, says Public Safety Manager Jack Harris. Harris plans to discuss the issue with Vice President Joe Biden in a coming visit to Phoenix. The national problem was explored recently on TheCrimeReport.org.
Some states list suspects as non-extraditable. Others refuse to extradite because they “don’t have the people or the money” to do so, Harris said, adding that the confusion could put Phoenix residents in danger as more criminals realize that freedom is merely another state away. Phoenix officers target suspects with warrants but they are forced to release them if other agencies refuse to extradite. Police fear that could lead to a fatal mistake like the case of Maurice Clemmons – who killed four police officers last fall in Lakewood, Wa., after authorities in Arkansas allegedly refused to extradite him on charges of assaulting a police officer and the second-degree rape of a child.