Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
n. the use of force, false imprisonment or threats (and possibly psychological torture or “brainwashing”) to compel someone to act contrary to his/her wishes or interests. If duress is used to get someone to sign an agreement or execute a will, a court may find the document null and void. A defendant in a criminal prosecution may raise the defense that others used duress to force him/her to take part in an alleged crime. The most famous case is that of publishing heiress Patty Hearst, who was kidnapped, raped, imprisoned and psychologically tortured until she joined her captors in a bank holdup and issued statements justifying her actions. She was later convicted of the bank robbery, but was eventually pardoned by President Jimmy Carter.
There are three defences which can be described as duress:
The common law defence of duress is available to most criminal charges, with the notable exception of Murder. This means that, for example, a person who is forced by threats against himself or his family to place a bomb in a public place, which then explodes and kills someone, has no defence. If successful the defence of duress results in an acquittal.
To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.
Definitions for Duress are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:
This glossary post was last updated: 27th April, 2020 | 3 Views.