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.