In January 2019, warrants for the arrest of the appellants, Jennifer Amnott, Valerie Hayes and Gary Reburn were issued. It was argued that they could be sentenced to life imprisonment following a trial in the United States. This was on the basis that there was a potential breach of Article 3 of the ECHR. 
The appellants met in 2015 and at that time Mrs Hayes and Mr Reburn were in a relationship. The appellant, Arnott, wants to start a family and she was informed that the other appellants had three children that had been kidnapped and were living with two families in Virginia. The first appellant was told if she and her husband helped them with the recovery of their children then they could keep one of the families’ other children. 
In July 2019 the appellants and Jennifer Amnott’s husband broke into the house of the families. In doing so they tied the Father up in the basement. However, the Mother escaped and contacted emergency services. Mr Amnott was arrested; however, the appellants escaped and travelled to Scotland. 
All of the appellants were charged with twelve offences. This included conspiracy to kill witnesses with intent to prevent communications to federal law enforcement officers. It was determined by the sheriff that the appellant’s evidence was insufficient to establish a breach of Article 3 and that a mandatory sentence on the conspiracy charge could not be said to be grossly disproportionate in the circumstances.
It was argued on behalf of the appellants that the sheriff had erred in determining that a mandatory life sentence for a lesser crime than murder was not grossly disproportionate, and in not applying the “greater scrutiny” test when considering the proportionality of the sentence. 
In providing the opinion of the court, Lord Carloway in considering the sheriff’s view stated: “There is no basis for holding that the sheriff failed to apply the correct level of scrutiny when determining whether a mandatory life sentence without parole was grossly disproportionate. It is almost self-evident that such a sentence is more likely to be regarded as grossly disproportionate since it is imposed without regard to factors which would otherwise be regarded as mitigation.”
He concluded: “[The mainstream European Court jurisdiction] attaches considerable importance to the sovereignty principle under which the Convention should not be used as a means of imposing the criminal justice values of contracting states on non-Convention countries. It should require some obvious and serious form of ill treatment to bar the extradition to a country such as the United States for the crimes of conspiracy to murder parents and to steal their children.”
As a result, the appeals were refused.