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People v. Unger

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Criminal Law Keyed to Dressler

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 66 III. 2d 333

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?

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