Friday, November 15, 2013

United States v. Haney case brief

United States v. Haney case brief summary
287 F.3d 1266 (2002)

Defendant was convicted of possession of escape paraphernalia in prison in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 1791(a)(2) in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Defendant appealed.

Defendant asserted that the district court erred in (1) not permitting him to raise a defense of duress, and (2) failing to grant him a reduction in offense level for acceptance of responsibility pursuant to U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 3E1.1. A co-defendant, who was white, was warned by black inmates that a race war was brewing and the co-defendant was a target. Accordingly, the co-defendant decided to attempt to escape from prison. Defendant assisted the co-defendant in collecting a variety of escape paraphernalia.

  • The court found that the defense of duress extended to third parties. 
  • Further, defendant produced adequate evidence to create a jury issue as to whether there was a threat of immediate infliction of death or bodily harm, and whether defendant and the co-defendant each lacked a reasonable legal opportunity to avert the threatened harm.

The conviction and sentence were vacated, and the matter was remanded.

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