16 February 2007

Dog coming back to Mexico

Duane "Dog" Chapman, the Hawaii bounty hunter with a legendary mullet, lost his extradition fight and could be sent to Jalisco state for trial. Chapman, who gained notoriety through his A & E reality show, nabbed fugitive Max Factor heir Andrew Luster in Puerto Vallarta back in 2003, but was subsequently detained by Mexican authorities. The bounty hunter left Mexico upon being released, returning to Hawaii, where he had been free on bond while awaiting the court decision on Mexico's request.

Dog could go to jail for up to four years if convicted. Mexican justice moves extremely slow - there are few oral trials - so a verdict could still be a long way off. (Oral trials have been introduced on a limited basis in some states.) Chapman, 53, has expressed fears he'd never survive a prison term in Mexico and be the target of every want-to-be tough guy wanting to scalp a gringo.

Mexican officials should tread carefully ... Dog's potentially lousy fate could sour U.S. public opinion on the country and reinforce negative perceptions of its under-performing justice system.

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