The Law: Lucky Threat

Jeffrey Olsen, 26, had busted out of a minimum security federal prison in Minnesota, but when he was caught and put on trial for unlawfully leaving prison, his lawyer explained that he was not legally guilty. Olsen had acted under duress, said Duluth Attorney Robert Kaner, because he feared that he would be homosexually raped. The Government conceded that homosexuality certainly existed in the prison, and Olsen's bunkmate, who was admittedly gay, testified to having brawled with another homosexual just before Olsen fled.

There was, however, no evidence of a direct threat to Olsen. Federal District Judge Miles Lord instructed the...

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