escape, n.

1. The act or an instance of breaking free from confinement, restraint, or an obligation.

2. An unlawful departure from legal custody without the use of force.

¡ª Also termed actual escape. Cf. PRISON BREACH. [Cases: Escape

1. C.J.S. Escape ¡ì¡ì 2¨C3, 5¨C10, 12, 27, 44.]

¡°In the technical sense an ¡®escape¡¯ is an unauthorized departure from legal custody; in a loose sense the word is used to indicate either such an unlawful departure or an avoidance of capture. And while the word is regularly used by the layman in the broader sense it usually is limited to the narrower meaning when used in the law, ¡ª although this is not always so.¡± Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 559 (3d ed. 1982).

constructive escape. A prisoner’s obtaining more liberty than the law allows, while not fully regaining freedom.

3. At common law, a criminal offense committed by a peace officer who allows a prisoner to depart unlawfully from legal custody.

¡ª Also termed voluntary escape. [Cases: Escape

3. C.J.S. Escape ¡ì¡ì 3, 5¨C6.] ¡ª escape, vb.

negligent escape. The offense committed by a peace officer who negligently allows a prisoner to depart from legal custody.

¡°Escapes are either voluntary, or negligent. Voluntary are such as are by the express consent of the keeper, after which he never can retake his prisoner again, (though the plaintiff may retake him at any time) but the sheriff must answer for the debt. Negligent escapes are where the prisoner escapes without his keeper’s knowledge or consent; and then upon fresh pursuit the defendant may be retaken, and the sheriff shall be excused, if he has him again before any action brought against himself for the escape.¡± 3 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 415¨C16 (1768).

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