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People v. Unger
Illinois Supreme Court
362 N.E.2d 319, 66 Ill.2d 333 (1977)
Francis Unger (defendant) was transferred from where he was previously incarcerated to a minimum security facility referred to as an “honor farm.” While at the honor farm, Unger was assaulted and sexually molested by three other inmates. Additionally, Unger received verbal threats of physical and sexual violence thereafter. Five days after the sexual assault, Unger received an anonymous telephone call and was threatened with death because the caller had heard that Unger reported the assault to prison authorities. Unger did not report any of the incidents to prison personnel. Unger walked off the farm and was apprehended two days later in a motel room. At his trial for escape, Unger testified that he walked off the honor farm in order to save his life and planned to return when he could find help. The trial judge instructed the jury, over defense counsel’s objection, that any reason Unger had for walking off the farm could not be considered as a defense. Unger was convicted of escape and he appealed. The appellate court reversed Unger’s conviction and the matter was remanded for a new trial. The Illinois Supreme Court granted leave to consider the matter.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)
Dissent (Underwood, J.)
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