The home secretary's decision to approve the extradition of Lauri Love came as no surprise to anyone. Amber Rudd, in a letter explaining her decision, said under the legislation she was not able to consider Love's human rights when deciding whether to ratify the order.
However, feelings are clearly running high around this case, as nearly 120 MPs have signed a letter to President Obama asking him to intervene in the extradition.
Under US sentencing guidelines, Lauri Love faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted and sentenced to consecutive prison terms by the three courts in which he faces charges. There is some leeway for a more lenient sentence but the prospective prison term would still be far in excess of the three years which he could expect if convicted in the UK.
Little surprise then that he would prefer to be tried in the UK.
Among his UK supporters – and other more dispassionate observers, too – there is little faith in the American judicial system. They argue that the plea bargaining system in the US is designed to bully defendants into waiving their right to trial. The prison system is notoriously overcrowded and understaffed, with very few services on offer to inmates by way of education, counselling or anything beyond the most basic healthcare. And the prospects of Love, if convicted, being returned to the UK to serve out his sentence closer to his family – at least in the near term – were doubtful, according to experts who testified at his extradition hearing.
The extradition treaty is criticised for being one-sided because it allows the US to extradite UK citizens with no reciprocal right, and also because the level of proof required to extradite citizens to the US being less than that required going the other way.
However, a review of extradition law by Lord Justice Scott Baker in 2011 found that there were no practical differences in the extradition processes between the two countries.
Lauri Love – without saying whether he committed the crimes as charged or not – argues that a trial in the UK would serve the interests of justice because the alleged offences would have been committed in Britain. And he says his physical and mental health would be severely compromised by extradition and incarceration, possibly in solitary confinement.
Both of these arguments were, of course, rejected by the district judge who ordered his extradition. She said that the US prison system was adequate to provide the care that he would need.
Lauri Love's supporters, including David Burrowes MP and the Courage Foundation, have urged the Prime Minister and home secretary to intervene and suggested that diplomatic approaches were an option, but the government has said “these are matters for the courts”.
So where now for Lauri Love?
On the surface it would appear there is much to argue about in court, but all of this ground was covered in the Magistrates Court. Nonetheless, Love says he will appeal his case to the High Court. He has 14 days to do so, after which the High Court will tell him whether he has leave to appeal. If it says no, he will be extradited, and if it says yes, his appeal would be heard in spring 2017.
If he loses the appeal, that would not necessarily be the end of the road: he might be able to appeal to the UK's Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
However, the prospects of stopping this extradition in the courts don't look promising for Love. The case put together by US authorities is broad and deep and – testimony around the failings of the US judicial system and the conditions in prison notwithstanding – any attempt to block it would require a fundamental rethink of the judicial relationship and the levels of trust between the US and the UK.
One final thought to consider: there is perhaps a longshot opportunity for Lauri Love. The political landscape is considerably changed and while the Trump administration will be conservative to the core, the president-elect is fond of grand gestures and sensitive to the popular mood. As long as there aren't any strong feelings among the US public to make an example of Love, ‘The Donald' might be persuaded to intervene in the case. Who knows? Certainly recent history should have taught us that stranger things can happen.