Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A bounty hunter is an individual who seeks out escaped fugitives in return for a monetary award. Most are employed by a bail bondsman. In the United States, bounty hunters catch an estimated 30,000 bail jumpers per year. A more-common term for a bounty hunter—which is preferred by those in the industry—is a bail enforcement agent.
In the United States, an 1872 U.S. Supreme Court case (Taylor v. Taintor) gives bounty hunters nearly limitless authority in their duties. Unlike a police officer, a bounty hunter can enter private property without a warrant. Bounty hunters do not undergo any formal training, and are generally unlicensed.
However, several states have placed additional restrictions on bounty hunters. In California, bounty hunters must undergo a background check and two weeks of training, and in Texas, they are prohibited from carrying firearms. Other states require bounty hunters to wear clothing identifying them as such.
Bounty hunters can also run into problems if a fugitive enters another country. Laws in other nations can be quite different, and taking a fugitive may even be considered kidnapping. Noted bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman had been arrested after crossing into Mexico, apprehending Andrew Luster, and not turning Luster over to Mexican authorities. He was later declared a fugitive by a Mexican prosecutor. Daniel Kear pursued and apprehended Sidney Jaffe at a residence in Canada. Kear was extradited to Canada, and convicted of kidnapping. While the government is generally willing to tolerate the activities of bounty hunters in the United States, the government has not been so willing to tolerate these activities when they cause problems with other sovereign nations.
Several bounty hunters have also been arrested for killing a fugitive or apprehending the wrong person.
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? — a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick about an assassin on a pursuit of fugitive homicidal androids
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details