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State v. Crawford

State v. Crawford



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Published by crlstinaaa
State v. Crawford

Hofstra Law School, Prof. Burke
Fall 2008

Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, Kaplan, Weisberg, Binder, 6th Edition.
State v. Crawford

Hofstra Law School, Prof. Burke
Fall 2008

Criminal Law: Cases and Materials, Kaplan, Weisberg, Binder, 6th Edition.

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Jan 12, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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State v. Crawford 
, 253 Kan. 629 (1993) [p. 584-592 n.5]Facts: Δ was a cocaine junkie, and owed his dealer a lot of money. Δ claimed the dealer threatened to kill himand his son if Δ didn’t commit crimes (burglary, etc.) in order to get money to pay off his debts. Δ was chargedwith aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, kidnapping, and aggravated burglary. Δ committed the acts on hisown, the dealer was not with him. Δ claims duress.Holding:
Court held that to claim duress, the following elements must be present (KS statute)
Threat of death or great bodily injury upon himself, spouse, parent, children, or siblings
Threat has to continuous
Threat has to be imminent
There must be no reasonable opportunities for escape
Reasonable belief that the threat will be carried out if Δ doesn’t commit the offenses
Defense not available if Δ places himself in a situation in which it is probable that he will besubjected to compulsion or threat
Defense not available when the offense is homicide
Court says no defense:
He placed himself in the situation - being a cocaine addict & incurring debt to people he knewwere dangerous. The threat was not imminent or continuous - dealer not holding a gun to hishead; his son was in another town. The threat was indefinite. Δ basically voluntarily committedthe crimes - he even stopped to eat.
Δ also argued that the reasonableness of his fear should be determined by allowing the jury tolook at the evidence showing his depression, his addiction, and his dependant personality. Hesaid the last paragraph of the jury instruction excluded from these things from the jury'sconsideration (because if he could show his dependence and subservience to Bateman, but juryinstruction basically negates that idea, requiring that there be an immediate threat, and that afuture threat is not enough).
Court says though because Δ put himself into the position of dependence and indebtedness, thedefense was not available.
Class Notes
The quintessential duress claim - the bad actor holds a gun to the Δ's head and makes him rob a store
In this case, government still be able to prove elements of the offense.
There's still intent - that's diff from motive.
Can't argue that there's no actus reus - not an involuntary act - not literally involuntary.
Limitation that you can't invoke both the duress & necessity defense on a homicide; and there can't beany reasonable alternatives.
Δ has to exercise reasonable attempts to escape, and exercise reasonable alternatives.
 ___________________________________ Notes
MPC § 2.09. Duress
(1) It is an affirmative defense that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute anoffense because he was coerced to do so by the use of, or a threat to use, unlawful force againsthis person or the person of another, that a person of reasonable firmness in his situation wouldhave been unable to resist.

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