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State v. Warshow

Vermont Supreme Court
410 A.2d 1000 (1979)


Warshow (defendant) was one of a group of demonstrators who were trying to prevent the reopening of a nuclear power plant that had been temporarily closed for repairs and refueling. Warshow and a number of other demonstrators were arrested and charged with unlawful trespass after they refused to leave the private property surrounding the plant. The trial court refused Warshow’s request to present a defense of necessity supported by evidence of the hazards of low-level radiation, nuclear waste buildup, and nuclear accident created by the operation of the power plant. The court also refused Warshow’s request for a jury instruction on the defense of necessity. Warshow was convicted and appealed to the Supreme Court of Vermont.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Barney, C.J.)

Concurrence (Hill, J.)

Dissent (Billings, J.)

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