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PRISON ESCAPE - JUSTIFICATION AS A DEFENSE - PEOPLE V LOVERCAMP

NCJ Number
36819
Journal
Capital University Law Review Volume: 5 Issue: 2 Dated: (1976) Pages: 293-325
Author(s)
E E THOMPSON
Date Published
1976
Length
33 pages
Annotation
REVIEW OF THE STATE COURT RULING IN PEOPLE V LOVERCAMP (1974), WHICH CREATED A DETAILED, FIVE-PART RULE TO ASCERTAIN PRECISELY WHEN THE DEFENSE OF NECESSITY CAN BE RAISED TO AN ESCAPE CHARGE.
Abstract
IN LOVERCAMP, THE TWO FEMALE DEFENDANTS FLED A CALIFORNIA PRISON CAMP AFTER REPEATED HARASSMENT BY A GROUP OF LESBIAN PISONERS WAS MET WITH INACTION OF PRISON OFFICIALS REGARDING A COMPLAINT FILED BY THE DEFENDANTS AND ATTACK BY THE LESBIAN GROUP. THE AUTHOR ANALYZES CASE LAW ESTABLISHING THE VIEW THAT INTOLERABLE PRISON LIVING CONDITIONS AFFORD NO EXCUSE FOR ESCAPE AND EXAMINES RULINGS ESTABLISHING THE DEFENSES OF DURESS AND NECESSITY IN CASES INVOLVING HOMOSEXUAL ATTACK. THE FIVE-PART RULE FOR THE SUCCESSFUL NECESSITY DEFENSE TO ESCAPE CHARGES REQUIRES THAT THE PRISONER FACE A SPECIFIC THREAT IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE; THERE IS NO TIME FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT OR COURT ACTION; THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF FORCE OR VIOLENCE USED AGAINST OTHERS DURING THE ESCAPE; AND THE PRISONER IMMEDIATELY REPORTS TO PROPER AUTHORITIES WHEN A POSITION OF SAFETY IS ATTAINED. THE APPLICATION OF THE LOVERCAMP RULING TO CASES IN OTHER STATE COURTS IS STUDIED. THEORETICAL PROBLEMS OF IDENTIFYING THE INTENT TO ESCAPE AS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF THE CRIME AND THE DISREGARD OF SOME COURTS OF THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN DEFENSES OF DURESS AND NECESSITY ARE CONSIDERED. OHIO ESCAPE LAW IS ALSO REVIEWED. THE AUTHOR CONCLUDES THAT THE LOVERCAMP RULING IS A LOGICAL EXTENTION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE 423 YEAR OLD ENGLISH COURT RULING THAT SOME CONDITIONS OF CONFINEMENT CAN EXCUSE THE FELONY OF ESCAPE.