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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149285 Find in a Library
Title: Duress-Members of Criminal Organizations and Gangs
Journal: Cambridge Law Journal  Volume:46  Dated:(November 1987)  Pages:379-381
Author(s): C Gearty
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 3
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1987, a British Court of Appeal clarified an aspect of the law on duress in a case involving three gang members, one of whom shot and killed someone during an armed robbery in which all three had participated.
Abstract: One of the defendants, who had been unarmed at the time of the shooting, argued that he had participated in the robbery under duress. The suspect claimed that he had wanted to leave the gang but was afraid to, and had considered at one point sabotaging his partners' weapons. The trial judge ruled that because he had voluntarily joined the gang in the first place, the defense of duress was not available to him. The Court of Appeal upheld the original conviction, stating that anyone who joins a criminal gang or organization which was likely to bring pressure on the member to commit a crime, could not claim duress. This article discusses the three levels at which duress may occur -- in joining the gang, remaining in the gang, and committing crimes with the gang -- and the implications of this ruling for all three levels.
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): Coercive persuasion defense; Foreign courts; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Juveniles
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