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People v. Blake
Illinois Appellate Court
522 N.E.2d 822 (1988)
Levi Blake (defendant) claimed his cousins Willie and Anthony Dixon forced him to break into a house with them. The three smoked marijuana and drank the night before. Blake was intoxicated and fell asleep several times. About six the next morning, Blake was still drunk and confused and thought his cousins were walking him home. The Dixons allegedly had a pig-latin conversation and then broke into a house where two women were upstairs. Meanwhile, Willie allegedly ordered Blake at gunpoint not to leave. Blake stated he heard a woman scream and said he would do anything if his cousins did not hurt the women or point the gun at him. Willie came back outside and made Blake help carry stolen items to an alley. When the men returned to the house, Willie allegedly ordered Blake inside to act as lookout downstairs while Willie went upstairs, saying he would start shooting if Blake left. When police arrived, Blake hid while his cousins fled the scene. Willie shot at an officer, who returned fire, killing Willie. Anthony jumped from a porch roof and was quickly apprehended. Police searched the house but did not find Blake until that afternoon. Blake was charged with home invasion, armed robbery, and residential burglary. Blake testified and requested jury instructions on the defenses of necessity and compulsion. The judge refused to give a necessity instruction and instead gave a compulsion instruction, modified slightly to include threats of harm to someone else. The jury convicted. Blake appealed, arguing that instruction did not adequately convey he was acting to save the women in the house. Moreover, unlike compulsion, necessity did not require an imminent threat of harm, meaning the jury could have rejected Blake’s compulsion defense solely because Blake was not imminently threatened while he remained outside.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Stouder, J.)
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