Case Briefs- Criminal Law

5 the prisoner reports to the authorities once he has

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Unformatted text preview: hus invade the right of the jury. The defense called a clinical psychologist whose testimony was ruled inadmissible on the basis that the jurors were able to draw their own conclusions as to whether the defendant acted in fear. Decision: Expert opinion testimony on issues to be decided by the jury, even the ultimate issue, is admissible where the conclusion of the expert is one which jurors would not ordinarily be able to draw for themselves. Court finds that the expert’s testimony explaining why a person suffering from battered woman’s syndrome would not leave her mate, would not inform police or friends, and would fear increased aggression against herself, would be such conclusions that jurors could not ordinarily draw for themselves. People v. Unger (Necessity defense) Brief Fact Summary. The Defendant, Francis Unger (Defendant), escaped from a minimum security prison after he had been threatened by fellow inmates. Synopsis of Rule of Law. The defense of necessity is available to prison escape situations where the prisoner is choosing to break the law to avoid a greater evil. Facts. After serving time at a state penitentiary, the Defendant was transferred to the prison’s minimum security honor farm. Prior to his transfer, he had been threatened by an inmate brandishing a six- inch knife in an attempt to coerce the Defendant to engage in homosexual activities. The defendant did not report the incident to authorities for fear of reprisal. After his transfer, the Defendant was assaulted and sexually molested by three inmates. He was also threatened with death for allegedly reporting the incident to prison authorities. Eventually, the Defendant escaped with the intention of returning when he found someone to help him. Issue. Did the Defendant introduce sufficient evidence to support the affirmative defense of necessity? Held. Yes. In prison escape situations, the defense of necessity shall be submitted to a jury where five conditions have been met: (1) the prisoner is faced with a specific threat of death, forcible sexual attack, or substantial bodily injury in the immediate future; (2) there is no time to complain to authorities or a history of futile complaints; (3) there is no time or opportunity to resort to the courts; (4) there is no evidence of violence against prison personnel or other innocent people in the escape; and (5) the prisoner reports to the authorities once he has reached a position of safety...
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