In the Conclusion of The Prince and the Pauper, we find out that Lady Edith did indeed recognize Miles when he was at Hendon Hall. Can she be forgiven for lying? The Prince and the Pauper Conclusion Fun Fact focuses on…
LYING UNDER DURESS
Keep reading or watch the video below for more information.
Reference in The Prince and the Pauper
“When the mysteries were all cleared up, it came out, by confession of Hugh Hendon, that his wife had repudiated Miles by his command, that day at Hendon Hall—a command assisted and supported by the perfectly trustworthy promise that if she did not deny that he was Miles Hendon, and stand firmly to it, he would have her life; whereupon she said, “Take it!”—she did not value it—and she would not repudiate Miles; then the husband said he would spare her life but have Miles assassinated! This was a different matter; so she gave her word and kept it.” (p. 206)
What is Duress?
- The act of using threats or psychological pressure to force someone to behave in a way that is contrary to their wishes
- Could include using force, false imprisonment, coercion, threats, or psychological pressure
- Can be physical or economic
Requirements of Duress
- The party is in immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death
- The party believes that the perpetrator will carry out the threat
- There is no opportunity to escape safely, except by committing the unlawful act
Duress vs. Necessity
- Necessity defense involves committing an illegal act in order to prevent the threat of harm to another person
- Can also be used in court
- Duress example – an accountant is forced to sign a document authorizing illegal transfer of funds at gunpoint
- Necessity example – night nurse is forced to break into pharmacy to get life-saving drugs for a patient who is dying
How can Duress be used as a legal defense?
- Doesn’t justify committing a crime, but can be used as an excuse
- Defense must prove a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have also committed the crime if they were in that position
- Not typically used as a defense to murder (but might be reduced to manslaughter)
Other Facts About Duress
- If a person is acting under duress, they are not acting of their own free will
- If an individual (or business) is under financial duress, they may lack good solutions to money problems (which could lead to crimes)
- Could be caused by someone losing their job, foreclose on their home, experience a health crisis, etc.
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