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NCJ Number: 64194 Find in a Library
Title: PRISON ESCAPE AND DEFENSES BASED ON CONDITIONS - A THEORY OF SOCIAL PREFERENCE
Journal: CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW  Volume:67  Issue:5  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1979)  Pages:1183-1204
Author(s): J Z GOLD
Corporate Author: University of California
Berkeley School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS LAW JOURNAL ARTICLE EVALUATES PRESENT LAW REGARDING TRIAL DEFENSES FOR INMATES WHO HAVE ESCAPED DUE TO DANGEROUS PRISON CONDITIONS.
Abstract: MODERN 'CHOICE-OF-EVILS' DEFENSES ALLOW SOCIETY TO ABSTAIN FROM INVOKING CRIMINAL SANCTIONS WHEN A SITUATION RENDERS COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW IMPOSSIBLE OR UNDESIRABLE. HOWEVER, SUCH DEFENSES ARE NOT USUALLY PERMITTED PRISONERS WHO HAVE ESCAPED INTOLERABLE PRISON CONDITIONS. THOSE COURTS PERMITTING THE DEFENSE USUALLY RESTRICT IT WITHOUT REGARD TO MODERN PRISON CONDITIONS. THUS, DEFENSIBLE ESCAPES MUST BE FOR SPECIFIC, IMMEDIATE THREATS; PROTECTION FROM AUTHORITIES MUST HAVE BEEN SOUGHT BUT NOT RECEIVED. HOWEVER, MODERN PRISONS CONTAIN ATMOSPHERES OF FEAR IN WHICH UNSPOKEN THREATS ARE CARRIED OUT WITH IMPUNITY AND PRISONER PROTECTION IS REGULARLY IGNORED BY AUTHORITIES. THE REQUIREMENT THAT PRISONERS MUST RETURN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO THEIR PRISONS IS THUS DEEMED UNREALISTIC, AS IS THE LAW BARRING JURIES FROM HEARING EVIDENCE IF ALL RESTRICTIONS ARE NOT MET. ALTHOUGH COURTS FEAR THAT RELAXING RESTRICTIONS ON ESCAPE DEFENSES WILL PROMOTE WHOLESALE ESCAPES, PRISON ESCAPES ARE ATTEMPTED ONLY UNDER GREAT PROVOCATION. MOREOVER, LIBERALIZED ESCAPE DEFENSES MAY PROMOTE PRISON REFORM. NEW COMMON LAW DEFENSES NEED TO BE DEVELOPED TAILORED TO THE UNIQUE PLIGHT OF PRISONERS, ALLOWING THEM JUROR DISCRETION AND COVERING ISSUES SUCH AS AN ESCAPEE'S INTENT TO AVOID SERIOUS BODILY OR PSYCHOLOGICAL HARM RATHER THAN CONFINEMENT ITSELF. THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S ESCAPE DEFENSE IS DISCUSSED. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Defense; Effects of imprisonment; Escape; Inmate personal security; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Prisoner's rights
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64194

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