Prior to 1984, the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (lAD) generated very little concern. However, under a theory recently put forth by defense attorneys for accused serial killer Alton Coleman the IAD could provide a mechanism which would interfere with the execution of the death penalty.

This article will explore this issue in detail, but before doing so, a discussion of the workings of the IAD is appropriate in order to better appreciate the consequences of this theory. This article will first explore the effects of the detainer process and the events which led to the development of the IAD. Second, it will discuss the application of the IAD's procedural safeguards. Third, the ability of both the prisoners and the states to circumvent the IAD's protection will be analyzed. Finally, this article will examine whether certain prisoners can avoid or delay execution of the death penalty through strict compliance with the IAD.